Friday, February 09, 2007
Tall Stories, Small Minds – Even Smaller Dicks
During my four hour meeting with Andrea Candiani in Melbourne, yesterday, several people dropped by his gallery. I knew most of them, but even the ones I didn't knew of me before we were introduced. I heard most of the gossip about the Melbourne art scene. Inevitably, I also heard a number of rumors about me. A man I hadn't seen for years told me, "I'm so glad you didn't give up being an artist". I have never considered such a thing, but I know why he was under the impression I might have. An unscrupulous art consultant about whom I've written before had told several important collectors that I'd stopped making art; I guess he was trying to get around having to explain why he didn't represent me anymore. It amazes me that anyone believed him. I wouldn't have trusted him to tell me the right time. A new rumor I heard was that I'm a 'kept' woman, somebody who's supported by one or (depending on whom you hear it from) more rich boyfriends. Of course, this is the predictable put-down of every smart, successful woman, usually by the impotent, misogynistic, middle-aged men – like the above-mentioned art consultant, the source of this pathetic, seamy little lie – who are intimidated by them. I don't even bother to defend myself against this sort of pencil-dicked shit.Still, I 'm surprised that this particular fool is so ready to reveal his menopausal rage and blatant chauvinism to everyone in what is, after all, a very small world. The facts are easy to find. Maybe he didn't (can't?) read the reputable Melbourne newspaper, The Age, which published a profile of me on the front page of their Business section, last year. If he did, he might have discovered that I owe my success to no-one but myself – and a savvy accountant, who happens to be a highly accomplished woman who sits on a handful of corporate and institutional boards and advises several well-known figures in the arts, media and advertising. In other words, I'm a self-made, financially independent woman. I contribute substantial amounts to the bottom lines of the galleries that represent me. My boyfriend (singular) has nothing to do with it. Without wanting to boast – but, fuck it, I've been provoked – even The Age's claims about the level of my income and the demand for my work were, if anything, understated. But from here on in, that's between my accountant, the tax department, and me.