When I first thought of writing this blog, I looked around at other artists’ blogs and found the results a bit wanting. The tone that I encountered was and remains typically uncritical, where a kind of vague cheerleading acts as a substitute for saying something meaningful.
This uncritical tone ensures that the artist blogger does not offend any fellow artists, an arts organization or most important, a gallery. As one artist told me, his blog was really just a networking tool, a way to meet as many artists as he could and thereby ensure that people “knew” him. He would then feature their work on his blog and they would then include him in group shows, introduce him to people they knew, etc., etc.
This strategy makes excellent career sense, but in terms of saying something insightful, it’s essentially just one more empty plastic bottle in the internet landfill.
I am hoping that Art Blah Blog will be something different. Certainly, as an artist I have my own career ambitions, and I am not free of my own conflicts of interest (which I will disclose as they come up). That said, this is a space for my own criticism and advocacy that I offer without apology. I hope to write about work that I believe has great value, but will write about that which does not from time to time. In fact, writing about work that I find meretricious (a fancy word for “prostitute-like”) is a guilty pleasure of mine.
When I broached writing this blog to other artists, I mentioned that I had avoided it due to my unwillingness to alienate my colleagues. One said that she thought it would be refreshing, another said that it might help me meet like-minded people. We’ll see about that.