As artists we tend to want to seek out like minded individuals to discuss, argue and get all huffy about our favorite artistic flavours, concepts or fetishes. While this is all very lovely, standing with your new found artistic soul-mate as you sip the horrid cheap bright yellow wine found only at exhibitions and in the bladders of goats, it smacks of being a case mutual public masturbation. Conversation flows in a subset of the English language that only exists in the walls of polished concrete floor gallery. If feels good for the moment but doesn’t really move the species along any further.
Then we come to the artists dictionary. Carried by all beret wearing, mwa mwa kissing types, it is a publication missing many words found out, strolling free, in the real world. If you grab the cheap Chardonney stained, leather bound book and flick through it you will and absence of words like, profit, marketing and customers. These words are clearly printed in big bold type in the Gallery owners version of the publication, but for artists it just doesn’t seem to made it to the vocabulary.
Sit down with an artist and listen as they consume their eighth glass of mid-priced red or suck back tofu into thier mouths so as to not stain their non-colourfast, tie died, hemp trousers, depending on which end of the artistic scale they are on. Catch phrases will fly by like some flamboyant verbal mosquito attack. “I am in for the art darl'” and “I dont like dealing with money its Grubby. Canyou pass me another ciggie lov'”.
The problem I see is that although artits benefit greatly by working through the collective knowledge and understanding of the like minded, they are missing an opportunity to really make their work have an impact in the greater world. Imagine an artistic world where the artists could work directly with those that appreciate, admire and fund the work itself – just like the good old days, Artists dealing directly with customers – using a common dictionary.
So dear artistic friends do yourself and the world a favour and borrow and learn the dictionary of a salesman, accountant and a marketing person.