Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Get a Clue: It was Picasso with the candlestick in the parlor!

The first three figurative scrolls have been posted on the website: www.danielnorth.com

As you may have noticed from the extended recent period between updates to my online portfolio, I’ve slowed down production, considerably, in order to spend more time on reading and research. That leaves my current painting schedule at around 6 hours/day. I am now spending roughly one week/per scroll as opposed to the previous two days (keep in mind those two days were 10-12 hours each). It works out that I am still spending about the same amount of time in the actual painting process, I’m simply spreading it out a bit in order to spend more time in contemplation of the painting stages. In other words, I’m just lengthening my favorite part of painting – the process.

Lately, I have been reading a lot about “emerging artists” in other blogs as well as in various art periodicals. I don’t have much use for the term especially under the light it is currently being cast. One of the less respected art magazines Southwest Art, even has an annual issue of the top thirty artists under the age of 31. I have yet to figure out where they are looking to find these people (I at first thought it was via gallery dealers, but not all of the selected artists have representation). Am I distrustful of magazines creating such labels? - Sure. Would I agree to be listed among their choices if given the chance? Certainly – I’m just as much a whore for good publicity as the next working artist.

Southwest Art did not pluck their criteria out of the very blue New Mexico sky (Southwest Art is actually produced on the east coast – that in itself says something!). As a general “art world” rule, the default definition of “emerging artist” seems to be any artist under the age of 31 that can be manipulated by trends in the art market. Luckily, I’ll withdraw from this group next January when I turn 32. Unfortunately, I don’t perceive many changes in my public relations approach to galleries and museums. Until recently, I didn’t even realize I had, by the curse of age, been pigeon-holed into this select group of artistic newbies. I’ve been painting for more than half my known life and doing it professionally for more than ten years. Labeling me with terms like “Emerging” just seems a bit sophomoric. Especially considering the fact that I can safely say no one is producing work anywhere within the same realm as mine. If one were to look at the term “emerging” from a different perspective, sure – I’ve spent a number of years developing my distinctive style and unique set of themes that have only in the past two to three years matured into my current cohesive body of work. Am I once again "emerging" because I am returning to the figure as a major subject in my work?

Were the Pre-Raphaelites simply “emerging” when they formed their band of merry men? Was Picasso simply “emerging” when he knocked Braque over the head with a heavy blunt object and ran away with his “Cubism” style? – DN

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