Monday, June 21, 2010

Creative freedom in the marketplace

Here are some thoughtful comments from JANICE TIEKEN (thank you, Janice!) that touch on a variety of the matters we have been raising here on Persist: The Blog.

Re: Creative freedom in the marketplace

Your video on branding was a treat for sore eyes, or mind, if you will. Many art biz gurus warn heavily against ever submitting or showing more than one style or media or art arena. Some well known folks in that genre have said: 1. Never show a photo with a poem. 2. Don't show any work you did when in art school no matter what. 3. Don't show different styles or media. So, for example in photography don't show your political commentary with your large digitally altered images or with your black and white and never with your paintings and drawings. Ever! One well-known, but not super-famous, artist uses the exact same colors he did 30 years ago. Is it just to be safe or a lack of ability?

Not mentioned, because you are still unknown (AKA starving) or not one of The Chosen: Once you are famous, or branded, you can do anything you want! That is the subtext we have learned from experience. In other words, there is a prohibition against pursuing Renaissance ideas - no matter how compelled - on the assumption if you are not yet famous then you simply couldn't handle all that diversity. I recently wrote some poems about the closing of a library, and the politics involved, that were published. I was called a poet which was pretty amusing since I hadn't really done it before. Was this a risk? I wondered.

Photography, as fine art, has always been very rigid in its rules and restrictions as well. In the early 70s when I first became enamored with it as a medium for expressing ideas - and beauty too - it was color for which I had passion. Verboten! Color is for postcards. At Otis the dean said, We don't teach it because it is not art. Not only was photography a bastard art but it was also deemed only good if black and white at that time. No discussion! Then it was color if dye transfer a la Eggleston. Then it was perfectly detailed see-every-hair only. (Realism vs. Impressionism?) One celebrated center until recently demanded only black frames and white mats.

Like the uneducated person who says when confronted in the museum with abstract art, I could do that - many think all forms of photography are easy, a snap, in the same way and therefore not in the big leagues. A friend recently called one of my images: 'nice shot'. It was a digitally 'painted' image that took hours to complete, not exactly a 'shot'. I suppose most other arts have their similar rigidities and biases.

Please also check out the exquisite pictures on Janice's website. You'll be glad you did!

Maybe it was the same in the Renaissance period and you had to earn the right to do more than one thing.

Janice Tieken, BFA, MA

1 comment:

Mythmara said...

Lovely Janice - and thanks Peter for sharing the words and thoughts on the arts... may they prevail!