Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Art Connect "Extraordinary Art Blog" Series

I'm honored to report my selection as the third interviewee for Art Connect's "Extraordinary Art Blog" series. Read my interview with Managing Director Peter Cowling here.

Art Connect is a relatively new website that provides the valuable service of reviewing and cataloging art blogs. The blog reviews are terrifically helpful and the interview series is so far excellent. From the Art Connect site:
"In the process of compiling over 100 art blog profiles, and starting what will be an ongoing survey of the art blog scene, we accumulated a whole range of questions we wanted to investigate further. As a part of this series, we have explored the extraordinary growth of an art blog with Ruben Natal-San Miguel, from ARTmostfierce, how to produce extraordinary art critique with Catherine Spaeth, and providing extraordinarily cohesive coverage with Christopher Reiger from Hungry Hyaena."
The interview with Catherine Speath is of particular interest to me, given her defense of accessible, yet rigorous art writing. She writes,
"I do, however, take very strong objection to what you are referring to as 'dumbing down' when it is relied upon as uncritical fodder for the market. For this reason there is a very important role for the academy and the museum to uphold a place for scholarly research. But I have also seen some atrocious academic writing, produced by galleries especially, that relies upon a history of philosophical thought to dress something up for the market."
Ms. Spaeth also discusses the issue of online plagarism, particularly as it relates to bloggers. This issue is very important, and I hope that it will engender more conversation.

I encourage readers to check out the Art Connect interview series.


Donald Frazell said...

I cant get on the artconnect site from my work computer, will try at home, not sure why. Read your rather long article about plagiarism from two years ago. As Picasso said, we are all collectors, we use whatever we can to get what we need to create. Now, my definition of plagiarism is simple, if not easy to enforce in practice. Is the image you are using the force of the work, or are you using a framework to build off of that is different than the originals intent and power.

Picasso Demoiselles d'Avignon was a pastiche of two small Cezanne paintintgs, one almost exactly the same in dimensions and composition, but two figures replacing two in the first. But the effect and treatment is completely different. Almost any figure composition is going to have been done in some way at some place in time. Trying to be "new" allways is just being juvenile and looking to market oneself, finding a line that communicated, colors taht are sensual and passionate, forms that have power, structures that reveal the order in the chaos, is what an artist does. As long as one does not rely on another work for effect, its not plagiarism.

Hell, I never read art mags, and since I wrote my article over a year ago I see it everywhere now. its that attitude that is growing, disfastifaction with posing and pretense. Nothing new in it, just few were angry enough to espouse it. I do see some from the past now, and what I read now still misses what I consider the point, but everything comes as a response to the world around us. No one writes in a vacuum of either other artists or our common culture.

Well, I have been against art, been avoiding art for so long because I developed what Hemingway called an automatic shit detector decades ago. I just dont have time for stupidity. Actually, I do now, as the internet and time sitting at work allows me to blog peopple to death, but also now with the kids grown and gone I got time to paint again, and be amazed at how bad art has become. It diverted from truth long ago. And finally fell apart. Cant hide carreerist ignorance forever. The emperors clothes thing I stated long ago. getting tired of hearing it now.

Again, no one has found what we need go towards, just a revultsion at what was. We could easily do something quite similar with just a few nips and tucks, cosmetic surgery hasnt left much to the patient however, becoming more like Michael Jackson than a vigorous and living warrior or athlete art must be to live, inspire and arouse.

I never worry about anyone copying, I am arogant enough to think no one can do as well anyway, so go right ahead, try. If you are good enough, you will win anyway, so who cares? In its own time, you cantr rush things, jsut follow truth adn work towards it always, never worrying about teh reward. Tahts the only way in teh arts. Sometimes it comes quicker than other, sometimes too quick and ruins one when no mature. Aceptance is one of the conrerstones of maturity, and there is not art without being mature and ballanced.

Anyway, gotta run, put my delicious Californias style salsa verde enchiladas in the oven, all from the garden, nuthin like it. I wil check out the article when I can keep on working, the garden is slowly blooming.

Hungry Hyaena said...


Because I find much of what you write agreeable (though distressing), I suggest that you write your comments in Word or some program with an automatic spellcheck feature, so that most of your typos will be corrected.

Admittedly, I'm a stickler for editing, but your input would be better received by all other readers, too. As is, the harsh critique you provide can be dismissed as shrill ranting; because of the typos, the comments appear written in angry haste.

I hope you don't mind the suggestion.

Donald Frazell said...

Not at all, you are right. I am in rather a rush often, write off the top of my head, as if you couldnt tell. When I take my time things make a little more sense, as I can tie it all together better. And the spelling leaves much to be desires, though actually typos, I spell well enough.

I will take more care on your site, others like newpapers are constant running, and gotta hit hard and fast, when they post em. I write alot on The Guardian in London and the LA Times Culturemonster. Its amazing that it is better than the NY Times blog which is terrible, mostly broadway shows and entertainment.

Anyway gotta run again, you should write more, as should Dion over at artnewsblog.com which I tend to regard as my home site. Aussies tend to be much less pretentious than Americans and especially the Brits, god they are messed up. Keep up the good work, not bad for a kid. As i am 50 next month, god knows how that happened, you could be one of mine, My oldest, adopted, is 24 and a officer in the Navy, Annapolis grad. Soon to be a doctor like my wifes sister, makes a father proud.

There is some hope for your generation, not much, but some, though it is my generatiosn fault. All these electronic contraptions got teh attention span down to about 30 seconds. My wife is closer in age and fills me in. I am just a gardener.



Hungry Hyaena said...


Indeed, it's clear that you usually write your comments in a rushed fashion and that, when you take a little more time, things make more sense. So thanks for offering to take more time on HH comments. By no means do I want to discourage you from posting when you're in a rush, but I particularly look forward to the edited remarks.

I'm a little older than your kids, I think, but not by too many years. Congratulations on your eldest son's achievement.