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acrylic on canvas by Caio Fernandes 2010 - Elizabeth Avedon about THE PICTORIAL CONSEQUENCE - art books, curatory and art market .
I spent days looking to the blank canvasses and breathing the image of my head .
Thank You God for giving me a work that points to a especific direction that i still can't see wich is but i am going to follow your lead anyway .
I feel that there is something to dig and dive deeper and i am going to do it .
i loved . i am really happy about this work today .
A post about THE PICTORIAL CONSEQUENCE
on ELIZABETH AVEDON's blog this Saturday , made me think about the importance of the art books in my life . As now i am doing this series of posts every week about my influences .
Without artbooks i would never have not even 10% of the idea about painting i had when i started to work with it ( maybe i would never feel like to be an artist without then ) . They formed my eyes , they inspired me . I am ashamed to say , but this is true , i learned to paint observing books of another artists . Because here in Sao Paulo we don't have great collections of art , even less opened for the public . We have here 1 Rembrandt ( that i believe it is fake ) , 2 Cezanes , 4 or 5 Renoirs . Very few works fron few artists , and not good examples of their production .
Sometimes in the past we had here an exhibition of Monet , other of Salvador Dali , other of Robert Rauschenberg , Anselm Kiefer , Beuys ... there are the Biennales and it is good ... ( but with Bienal you must to have lucky because of the Brasilian madness . Last Biennal here in Sao Paulo was empty , no artworks , the curators decided to take the artists out of the process and make their life easier . It was a HUGE conceptual exhibition . no art . as has been the tendency in Sao Paulo's "art market" for the last 10 years ) .
So the art books are fundamental in my life , hein ? YES .
First time i went to Europe i was a painter and artist here alread for almost 7 years with lots of exhibitions and local awards in my curriculum . At the museuns there i saw bush strokes i didn't know that existed . I got amaized with the too small or too large size of some works i knew by books . I got fascinated by the fact that the great masters ARE great masters , but there are hundreds of great painters i had never saw in any book .
It was a lesson for me to be humble about my work . I used to compared my works with the brazilian artists of all times , i thought i was a real genious , hahah! ... there ... i saw how much i have to learn . I saw that i didn't even began even having a very authentic work alread that didn't look like nothing being produced today or in the past .
But art books are the still the fundamental stone of my life and production .
There are 3 kinds of art books :
The one where some publisher takes 120 pictures of some artist , like Degas for instance , organize in 200 pages and publish it . It is as a catalog of the artists works . The book has no personality , is very ilustrative , but very useful for people like me that have no money but must to see as much as possible .
The second kind is that huge one , shining , with ultra expensive paper , photos as large as possible . Very pretencious and beutiful . But at the end , when you start to have a relantionship with it , you realise you can't go deeper , that this is just a coffee table's wonderful ornament . Even so i like those books , who doesn't ?
The tird kind of book is the ideal . Is when the art book is a piece of art by it self . Complete . When the last page closes a perfect circle with the first one . There is no space for mistakes . The photos in it develop into your eyes a relation of continuity and commitment . You're able to feel every single work of the artist there represented as an exclusive individuos , but you feel the whole experience as well . All the artist's proposal together , filling your eyes , brain and chest . Not necessarily in a literary way .
Books like that are very rare , but exist .
Elizabeth Avedon's design is about that , this is the reason i am talking about that .
What makes me think about the real importance of a book designer or a curator in an artist 's carrier .
I gave here on this post 2 examples of profissionals that have an interference on the way the artist exhibit his work to the public . 2 extremes .
First . The tipical curator of the province , as happens here in Sao Paulo , that has a relation of imposition of his will and view of art upon the artist's production , very similar the relation of lord-slave , doesn't giving space for the artist to express himself and sufocating his production till arrive to extreme points , as happened with me , that years ago decided to do not produce anymore and even less to exhibit my work . I am not the only one that gave up here . Even so : I AM BACK , BABY , face it !! Diferent of lots of young artists that aren't producing any more even having talent , totaly afraid of this kind of imposition by those "profissionals" that dominate the theoretical Sao Paulo's art market . This thing got to the ridiculous extreme of , as i told , they prefered to make an Internacional Bienal of Sao Paulo , without any artists , just then , the curators that know more about art than the artists ( booohh ) .
In the other hand you have the profissional that as a book designer or curator understand the proposal of the artist and brings this up with quality , generosity , but most important : in a objetive way . The artist woudn't be able to do this because the work is too personal for him ( i had in some exhibitions problems to choose what to show ) . He has emotinal relation with it , he , sometimes , can't "deliver" this to the public in a clear way . He needs a person he can trust . Someone that can see what his is really doing , orgnise and exhibit .
Does this profissional really exist ? Well , i have never met one right in front of me in flesh and bood . But i do believe in it , as i have seem their results .
Do you want some prove that this kind of profissional atittude exists ? see MY BROTHER'S WAR .
Okay , as i am writing a lot about delicated subjects and giving my most personal opinion about , let me spit what has been stoked in my throat about curatory and profissionals that exerce influence over the public .
Now we have gallerys closing door and gallerists puting the blame of the crises on the global economy . It is fair , big part of the art market crises comes fron the economic crises .
But there is another factor that anybody talks about , not even "the internet voices " , the independent blogs about contemporary art , that has as proposal to talk about what "really is happening" in the contemporary art , but as a matter of fact just talk about what happens in the main institutions and gallerys , complaining , or kissing ass of their friends .
At the last 3 years internet has made a revolution about the way to see art and discover new artists around the world . Every day i discover new good artists on internet ( flickr , blogspot , wordpress , tumblr , moblog ....) and not rare , i discover exellent artists that are producing incredible works NOW , at this exact moment . They aren't being exhibited in any institution . They aren't being represented by any important Gallery . Any "ultra influent" curator is asking then to any exhibition or writing about then .
Well ... do the gallerists think what ? That the art collectors are blind ? That they are totaly dumb ?
Try to imagine the head of a guy that has for the last 15 , 20 year totaly trusted in gallerists , curators , art critics ... and now , on his laptop , he finds blogs and web sites of artists that are exelent in all the medias and areas , but are totaly out of the market . Soon or later he is going to start to think :
"Wait a minute . Why did i buy that artwork of that artist by a small fortune if here i see on this website an artist that has the same years of carrier than him , but a much better work , and in a price 10 times cheaper ? Just because some critic wrote about it on that magazine ? just because the gallerist was very nice with me and conviced me very well ? just because that curator wrote about him a very complex text and called him for some exhibition in a art institution ? What is happening ? "
"Did everyone lie to me ? Did they exhibit art thinking only and exclusively about their personal interests and not about real quality ? "
So how can this collector go back to the gallery he used to and see it with the same eyes ? Shake hands of the gallerist with the same trust ? Read that critic with the same interest ? Visit the exhibition of that curator with the same exitement ?
I believe that the art market as it is , and has been , will never loses all its power , but some atittudes must to change forced by internet .
For example :
Soon or later , isn't the profissional with the best contacts that will have more credibility , but the one that presents to the public what is REALLY happening , even because it is getting harder to hide the real talents of this world .
Other thing is the dictatorial atitude about "what is in , what is out " in the market's tendences . The collector will more and more , buy what he wants and likes , not what someone tells him to buy . Because if he doesn't find what he likes at the gallery , he finds on internet and buy fron the artist .
Tendences will always exist and dominate part of the market , but with much less power .
Most part of the contemporary art blogs , web sites , magazines and institutions ... will have to start to really talk about what is happening and find the new artists presenting then with justice , because this vehicles i see today has no credibility to talk about anything anymore . They are just a pretencious joke and waist of time made exclusively for the exaltention of personal contacts .
Should i start my own blog about contemporary art ? Sadly i have no time for this . And sincerely , no interest too .
hey Caio!! good !! here you are digging your grave with your briliant personal opinion !! clap clap clap !!
Anyway ... Thank you again Elizabeth Avedon . Just the extremely rare people , like you , are able to make life bearable for people like me .
And thank you all that follow my blog and have suport me so much with your presence and opinions . THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !! You have no idea , but when i say that you saved my life , i am not kidding or overeacting .
Let's have a great week !! deal ?