For a while now my New York Collection has been doing the rounds on the international circuit. This collection was originally assembled for exhibition as part of New York Fashion Week 2014. It has since travelled to Syracuse, NY for inclusion in an exhibition accompanying Syracuse Fashion Weekend 2014. Later it was displayed at Kaspikara Academy of Arts, Cali, Colombia.
Now it’s back in the USA for a trip across to Madison, Wisconsin where it will be starting a new adventure with a new custodian. It’s great to lend my art out to friends so that it can be both treasured in their homes and shown in places local to them. I’ve never been a fan of storing my art in boxes never to be seen again. Art is for sharing and my aim has always been to share it as widely as possible.
Of course I’d love it if everyone would buy my art. It would be nice for the fruits of my labours to be permanently with someone else and in return I’d be able to cover my time and expenses for being a creative. Sadly, in the real world people like to look and enjoy on a temporary basis in galleries and museums. Even those who have a few pennies spare rarely feel that they can give me wages for a month of my time. I’m constantly asked why I don’t create on a larger scale, hire a larger studio, spend 6 months making something grandiose etc. I suggest that if they want to commission me to make their dream artwork then I’m up for it. Perhaps give me some wages up front for the piece they want me to make. I’m deadly serious. You want it then pay me to make it. I’m up for that.*
So back in the real world I’ve realised that there is an alternative and that is lending out my art to wonderful friends who are sympathetic to the arts and who have different opportunities on their doorsteps. It’s a risk that some artists aren’t willing to take but for me it has been the foundation of my practice for many years now. It has led to opportunities across New York. Colombia, Serbia, Croatia, and beyond. I’ve ended up with TV appearances in Colombia and my art shown on TV in Minnesota. Yeah, I’m no richer financially as a result but I’m far richer in terms of friends. One person’s local is another person’s exotic. So whilst some of my friends are thinking I’m mad to put my art in their living room on the other side of the planet**, my international CV is looking awesome.
So here’s Moss 1300, a 12″ x 12″mixed media collage. Conceived on a visit to Shrewsbury UK and created in Swansea UK; shown in Manhattan NY, Syracuse NY, Brainerd MN, Cali Colombia, and now at home with Michelle in Madison WI; inspired by NGC 1300, a galaxy about 61 million light years away in the constellation Eridanus; and finally, brought to you in the spirit of international sharing and being awesome to one another.
*The response is always a nervous chuckle. Yes I have the audacity to ask for 6 months wages for 6 months work. Why shouldn’t I? Perhaps because you like to look at the art in museums you think that this exempts the artist from getting paid a real wage for the stuff you enjoy. Not this artist. I live on food rather than dreams.
** The latest ‘borrower’ is a lady who I met by chance in a Bed and Breakfast in Brooklyn in 2013.