The Importance of Keeping Work Unprecious
A recent experiment has led me to believe that I am truly at the pinnacle of not considering my work precious in any sense. These pieces, titled Crossings 1-5, were up at my co-op gallery (NEXT Gallery) for the past six weeks. I had priced them to sell, each at $40, but after two openings of them not
Selling I decided to list them on my social networks at a discounted price of $25 each, with the 'warning' that if they did not sell by the following Monday (that being today) that I would hang them in my bathroom and watch as they slowing deteriorate, or not, I honestly have no idea what will happen. But this gets me thinking, are people truly not interested in the works, or are they now more interested in watching what happens as the drawings on MDF panel begin to break down in the humid environment? And if that is the case, will people be more interested in owning the work after that experiment? I'm not sure... but I digress.
My current studio practice involves a lot of assemblage pieces, mostly made up of other discarded works, works in progress, or other random supplies I find around my studio. The pieces are all about intuitive creation and relationships between the material and the substance on the material, but the point is that my discarded works that I hold on to in the off chance that I will go back and rework them (which I won't. I know you won't. No artist really does that, come on.) are now becoming temporary works of art that I am extremely proud of and happy with the outcome.
I document the work, and they often just throw the pieces away. They gain a second life, and once I feel satisfied with the outcome, they are discarded. Some pieces stick around because I find more potential through the assemblage process (such as the vintage wallpaper in Sticky Fingers shown above, which has now gone through many differently variations and is something quite different nowadays), but most are just allowed to reach their potential and are then retired.
I find such joy in repurposing work, allowing work to be left out and affected by the studio process (slight bends when moving, or splatters from a painting session), and letting the studio take over the work rather than just me all the time. It is a hard thing for an artists to do, but I find that the more I let go of control, or let go of making work, storing work, hoping that a magic collector will come along and buy all my old works, the more I enjoy the art making process for what it is. I am extremely excited on the inside to slowly watch Crossings fall apart, warp, run, or whatever the hell it decides to do, so excited in fact I am tempted to hang one directly above the shower head, though I am disappointed that no one wanted the work. I guess that just solidifies my thoughts that you need to be confident in the work for people to be confident in living with it, but that's a whole other discussion.
Stay tuned to see what happens to the work.