Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Marry in May and You'll Rue the Links

by Robert Boyd

Bad artist statements, part 1329. I saw Stephanie Liner's work at Pulse, and I loved it. The piece I saw (which seems typical of a lot of her pieces) had a girl sitting inside an egg-shaped structure. The egg was an upholstered piece of furniture, basically, with a floral pattern inside and out. You could see into the egg through little porthole-like openings. And the girl inside was wearing a dress with the same floral pattern as the egg itself. So I was kind of thrilled when I saw that Liner was doing a Kickstarter campaign for her performance at the Smithsonian. Thrilled, that is, until I played the video (above). In it, Liner seems to be reading her artist's statement. Like so many artist statements, hers succeeds in removing the mystery and magic from her art. It closes off interpretation by the viewer by telling you what the art is all about.  And it's boring. Obviously it wasn't an impediment--her project is fully funded. (I kicked in $25 despite the video.) I chalk it up to being another horrible example of the world's worst literary genre. Love the artist, hate the artist's statement.

I Am the Walrus
Enrique Gomez de Molina, I Am the Walrus

Artists! Don't make your chimeras out of endangered species! That's what sculptor Enrique Gomez de Molina did, and now he's in jail. His problem was that he was making fanciful taxidermied sculptures by combining animal parts which he bought off of eBay. Little did he know that some eBay dealers were selling illegal animal parts from endangered species. This caught the attention of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, who apparently warned him multiple times that what he was doing (importing animal parts of endangered species) was, in fact, a crime. He was convicted and is now spending the next 20 months in jail. ["From toast of art world to guest of federal pen" by Lydia Martin, The Miami Herald, May 20, 2012, via Art Market Monitor.]

I don't have anything new to say about The Rose. But I wanted to share this video about Jay DeFeo's The Rose. This painting is the masterpiece of beatnik visual art. A ton (literally) of paint, obsessively worked on for years. Beautiful. [via wrapit-tapeit-walkit-placeit]

Daniel Clowes, Enid from Ghost World, 1996, gouache, 8.5" x 11"

If you missed my birthday... It's not too late to give me a present. This gouache by Daniel Clowes, being sold right now on eBay, would make an excellent birthday present, for example. [via]
Droit de suite overturned in California. A federal court overturned a California law that requires resale royalties for works of art sold.
Under the California law, auction houses and dealers, wherever located throughout the country, were directed to "withhold 5 percent of the amount of the sale, locate the artist and pay the artist," whenever the sold work was created by a California-based artist or was sold by a California resident. ["Federal Court Finds California Resale Royalties Act Unconstitutional" by Lee Rosenbaum, Culturegrrl, May 20, 2012]
The court found that this violated the commerce clause because it interfered in interstate commerce. For instance, the seller might be in Iowa and the buyer in Georgia, but if the artist was in California, the law would apply. I have no legal knowledge, but I can see the court's point. What this says is that droit de suite needs to be a national law, not a state law. Speculators should not be the sole beneficiaries of selling art at a profit. Artists should benefit as well.


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