Thursday, November 26, 2009

Glass Half Empty

I'm in a melancholy frame of mind today.
It's nothing to do with my art – as you might have gathered from my recent notes here, the new studio layout has encouraged me to be even more productive – but rather with the business I have to deal with in order to sustain my art.
Don't get me wrong: I have no regrets at all about abandoning the commercial gallery system. I have greater freedom and a much higher income. I am also entirely responsible for myself.
No, what's getting me down are those parts of my life that are still encumbered by the old system – and the spite and greed of a few, inimical individuals who resent that I chose a path independent of them.
I've not written much about the bitter financial and legal fights that, over the past couple of years, have threatened to overwhelm me. Instead, I've 'been there' for some artists who have found their art and their livelihoods under attack from care-less, rapacious exploiters and I've saddled up my high horse to harass the inequities imposed on others by the outmoded thinking and business models of old-school art intermediaries.
I've been let down by many on whom I should have been able to depend.
Now, I'm waist-deep in the blood 'n' guts of my own battles. The once sturdy defenses of my bank account have been flattened under the weight of legal and accounting fees.
Some days, it all bears down on me hard. I get fed up with the intrusion of this shit into my imagination and the toll it exerts on my energy. I long to be rid of it all. To be somewhere (anywhere) else, naked, unknown, with nothing.


Dave Doolin said...

You can't get free of it.

It's part and parcel of the struggle. It's necessary.

Those of us "about to rock" draw inspiration from those such as you... fighting the good fight... and winning.

We may be across world. We may be across the road. But we're out here. Watching. Knowing our turn at the sharp end of the stick is coming - hoping we thrive in spite of it.

Fogbound said...

Your openness and transparency says alot about the person you are and I'm sure you're readers and art buyers appreciate the pressures and struggles you face. So hang in there, chart your own course and know that there are alot of people behind you and supporting you.

Aaron B. Brown said...

Hang in there Hazel.

Was listening to NPR today, discussion about Vincent van Gogh and his letters, and was reminded that each individual artist's struggle is part of an evolutionary process within the arts. Every person who takes a stand on principle in the face of establishment forces faces risks and dangers. That artist pays a total when attempting to make change happen. All those who choose this path should take care how they proceed.

I think war and direct conflict should be the last resort, other alternatives like building a coalition and community that gives you power to negotiate from a position of strength, should be further explored. One person standing alone can only do so much against fixed entrenched forces, while groups of peoples standing together have a better chance of withstanding assault and perhaps even turning the tide.

I think Vincent's dream of creating an artist community that would lend strength and support to all, was an idea that was far ahead of its time. It's a powerful idea that may find more fertile ground in a period when it's much easier for artists around the world to come together and support each other, particularly in times of need. Perhaps his dream of inclusion and community will finally find its fruition here in this new century.

New Edition Of Van Gogh Letters Reveal Surprises

van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, letters

Annie Paul said...

i know you've used studio assistants but have you considered a personal assistant to handle the commercial side of things? that's a burden you don't need and can possibly divest no?

Angela Hunt/Hunt Press said...

I am very sorry that you're having to deal with that bullshit right now. But it matters, and you are an inspiration to me and a lot of other people.

Don't let the bastards get you down.

Anonymous said...

Great view !