Monday, May 08, 2006
School of Inc.
So since another week passed without a scribble its nice to return to another hot topic courtesy of the NY Times. I know I'm at least 3 days behind here! So this very topic was covered brilliantly by Lisa Hunter last week and recapped again yesterday after the Times article. In addition to Lisa's head start on the Times, Bill Gusky and Art Powerlines have both added to the discussion. Bill in a perhaps ill advised rap :) and Art Powerlines in a very cutting and insightful social class angle on the subject of 'thinkers' and 'fabricators'. I think this is a very astute understanding - blue collar/white collar, a Caste system if you will (couldn't resist). The initiated and those that allow them to cross mud puddles without harm.
What is also of interest is that there does seem to be a natural acceptance of a 'factory' when it comes to sculpture - its practically expected at this point. (I should note that I think the process and the result of McCarthy's work is quite effective) The small collector doesn't by sculpture too often- but the big ones and institutions do and there seems to be a parallel in ambition, cost and scale with artists that are synced into that collector niche. You need an army to pull these projects together. Spectacle needs grunts.
Now there are plenty of painters employing dozens of artists too- a few show with Deitch, and I'm sure you can tell which ones- but somehow that doesn't sit well with me. Painting (outside of murals) just doesn't feel collaborative. It should be a mirror to the maker I think, and that's not some romantic bullshit. Its the real - or rather the real that I think is special to painting. The old masters certainly had underlings toiling for them - sometimes scale and demand requires it, but in the end those pieces aren't generally admired as much. Why? because I think we expect intimacy with painting and when painting doesn't have that we feel a little gipped. Perhaps this is a double standard but I think most art audiences agree. I want to know that a person was behind this object for all my outdated humanistic reasons - because it matters.
Should fabricators get credit? Would be nice but it depends on the conceptual angle and I think many assistants want the background anyway. This is the artworld after all and name is everything.
It may be best if people don't know you work for Kostabi world. The buyer's are paying for the illusion anyway- one Barney - one brand. Because that's what we're talking about really in this discussion of fabrication - BRAND.
By the way, I despise that qoute by Deitch - last I checked, philosophers craft their own material based on precedent .....uncredited TA's aside ;)
But really, as for today's artists being loved as philosphers, what a load of crap. What philosphy is being espoused? I thought it was dead along with painting and art criticism!!
ps. no such thing as post-conceptual.