The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art!
Published: February 15, 2009
Memories of recessions past suggest that a financial scouring can be good for American art.

This article entitled The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art! written by Holland Cotter, was published in The New York Times this past Sunday, February 15th. I received a link via an email from Lyle (who is in Ghana) and after having read through, feel its important to post the link on facebook and here. The piece addresses, through the author, the state of our economy and how in a moment of inevitable trickle-down, the Artworld is being effected. In excerpt:

It’s day-job time again in America, and that’s O.K. Artists have always had them — van Gogh the preacher, Pollock the busboy, Henry Darger the janitor — and will again. The trick is to try to make them an energy source, not a chore.

At the same time, if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.

And from page 3 online:

Will the art industry continue to cling to art’s traditional analog status, to insist that the material, buyable object is the only truly legitimate form of art, which is what the painting revival of the last few years has really been about? Will contemporary art continue to be, as it is now, a fancyish Fortunoff’s, a party supply shop for the Love Boat crew? Or will artists — and teachers, and critics — jump ship, swim for land that is still hard to locate on existing maps and make it their home and workplace?

I’m not talking about creating ’60s-style utopias; all those notions are dead and gone and weren’t so great to begin with. I’m talking about carving out a place in the larger culture where a condition of abnormality can be sustained, where imagining the unknown and the unknowable — impossible to buy or sell — is the primary enterprise. Crazy! says anyone with an ounce of business sense.

Right. Exactly. Crazy.

I am in favor of Holland Cotter calling for action in the form of researching and learning more about the past to recognize that this is not a new phenomena and realize that we’ve gotten through it before and will get through it again. As the dwindling economy has widened its scope I have found myself, like many others, feeling stuck at times. Reminders of economic strife are evident around every corner, and this ever expanding web will stick to those in various States, professions and socio-economic statures. All we can do is keep our collective chin up. Smile and greet eachother more often and candidly. Allow ourselves to take in a clear sky, a movie, or a work of art. Because as the author states, in times of economic strife, we, and other artists find ways to make things work. As an artist myself, my favorite line of the piece: They [artists] can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.

So here’s to making nothing, everything, and allowing ourselves to continuously start over.


Also, I have been making many sketches in my Fabriano sketch book…and will post some drawings soon!