"You can't take funny pictures if you don't live in a funny world."


Elliott Erwitt sure lives in a funny world.


Once in a while somebody reminds me that I do live in a funny world -- or at least visit it once in a while. Anna had just scored this frame at a local vintage shop -- she said it was just the size for an artwork she wanted to frame. I asked her to hold it up (she clearly 'got it' and thought it was a good idea.



 

I'm doing a program for the Bellingham Photography Club on the knotty subject of getting your work shown. One of the issues is the dreaded Artist's Statement. While poking about the internet hoping for some sage advice I stumbled upon www.artybollocks.com.

Sage advice it isn't (but is part of living in a funny world.)


Before the pandemic careened through our lives I went to the BFA show for Cornish College of the Arts nearly every year. Somebody characterized art school as an environment in which "a handful of people work feverishly, day and night, seven days a week and the remainder are idle to a degree hard to associate with a living organism." This shows in the BFA projects some of which are of the "OMG! The BFA show is in two weeks and my project isn't started." while others are clearly the result of a lot of long nights in the studio. A common feature, however, is that the artist's statements are heavily larded up with jargon from Art News reviews.


On the other hand one young woman had painted stylized profile portraits on thick (1" or so) blocks of very clear acrylic about a foot square. She then turned the block over and painted the nearly identical profile on the other side. The result was quite striking and it struck me as a pretty original idea so I asked her how she came up with the idea. "I was playing around with stray bits of materials in my studio and tried it out. I liked the result so I did a lot of it." (She also shyly told me that her advisor wouldn't let her state that on her artist's statement.)

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