Journal

Why I Am Collaborating Without Any Collaboration

This all started with the free drawings.

If you are unaware, starting in March of 2017 I began giving away daily free drawings through my Instagram account (follow here). The rules stated that all you needed to do was be the first person to comment on the image and you would receive the drawing (with signed back) free of charge and with free shipping, which included international recipients as well.  My plan for the project was to give my art away to people that wanted it and to do it everyday for a year. Well, as most “365 day” projects go, I did not manage to post a new drawing everyday for a year, but I did get pretty far, and I connected with amazing people from all around the world, including over 15 states and multiple countries.

 One of the free drawings given away during this project

One of the free drawings given away during this project

The project took a different turn for me when I began thinking about what it really means to give away art, which was sparked when I began trying to sell a few pieces I had made. It appeared that my adoring fans had vanished as soon as any sort of compensation for the artist came into play. I came to terms with that fact that people wanted free art, and that they did not really love my work enough to pay for it.

This got me thinking about how drawings by well-known artists are received versus the drawings that emerging artists make. Artists’ drawings are not considered high art (this is generalizing for sure) until they “make it” as artists, but when that moment happens, trash that was thrown away becomes important, scribbles in their sketchbook become important, and documents of their thoughts become important, so why do we not look at the emerging artists’ trash, scribbles, or consider their thoughts in this very moment?

 Antony Gormley, "Domain Field", Commission by BALTIC, Level 4 Gallery, 2003, Stainless Steel.

Antony Gormley, "Domain Field", Commission by BALTIC, Level 4 Gallery, 2003, Stainless Steel.

 Antony Gormley, "LEARNING TO THINK (AGAIN)", From "CHICORY COFFEE" series, Chicory coffee on paper, 1995-1996

Antony Gormley, "LEARNING TO THINK (AGAIN)", From "CHICORY COFFEE" series, Chicory coffee on paper, 1995-1996

The heart of the work comes from that. I am interested in the work that artists of this moment are creating, disregarding, and now throwing/giving away. I am having a dialogue with the artists of this time, and learning from masters of now, rather than waiting until these artists are known to revisit the work they made when they were young.

Even writing that sounds a little cheesy, but a lot of it is true.

I think there are quite a few more thoughts to put together myself before sharing them with the world, but the base of the project starts here. I will continue to make the work, and through that action should be able to fully articulate the process soon.

 Detail from  Unsolicited Collaboration with  @jonathan.saiz  #2

Detail from Unsolicited Collaboration with @jonathan.saiz #2