I am indeed a selfish artist.
I work by myself in fear all things that aren’t my creative process. I sometimes work with others but rarely. I continue in not only a selfish manner but in a shy manner, a curious manner and a practical manner. In working alone you are free to create when the time comes, you a free to explore far reaching ideas without embarrassment or judgement. However collaboration is one of the most important aspects of being creative and creating strong work. The significance of blunting a personal influence with others is astounding. On a most point, a strong collective of artists is far greater than one brilliant artist. Dadaists believed that the value of art lay not in the work produced, but in the act of making and collaborating with others to create new visions of the world.
Here is a collaboration between Patti Smith, who is a strong feminist punk poet figure of the early new york scene and Kevin Shield, guitarist and songwriter of My Bloody Valentine and considered the key founding figure of shoegaze. His visionary guitar playing coupled with her spoken word is such a strong combination. Before I knew of this, I would never have guessed that these two would work together.
I never knew who the guest artist was. I didn’t attend the lecture.
So I will write about another artist!
Joshua Foley is a friend of mine. He is from my hometown of Launceston, Tasmania and currently works from there.
He won the John Glover Prize (The highest art prize in Australia) winning $35,000. His work is heavily layered and vividly colourful paintings.
The hallucinatory nature of his work makes for a hypnotic sitting. I find his work very ‘wet’, the paint seems like it is about to drip on to the floor and that the colours will continue and the shapes will forever squelch and transform together.
Here is some examples of his work.
He is also the only person I know who actually makes a living from their creative pursuits
This is what he says:
‘Paint is by nature and definition a mutable substance and it continually suggests to me analogous forms, materials, movements, cultures, territories and patterns. I aim to embrace and explore these tangents always seeking and sometimes discovering like a scientist further directions to push my work in so that it provides an increasingly stimulating and invigorating experience for the viewer’ Josh Foley, 2014.
Here are my passing thoughts on risk and art.
Being an artist for a living, asks the art you create to sustain you financially. A risk of the creative process is in-authenticity, with in-authenticity comes risk of your art being unsuccessful, passable and unprofitable. Without taking a risk, where would natural progression in art forms come from?
By taking these ‘risks’, obviously doesn’t mean everything will be affecting and authentic art or worth and longevity. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called a risk?! ha
A lot of times an artist will take massive risks and reap no reward. They help in the evolution of their art form but are forwarded and popularised by more stable ‘business savvy’ contemporaries.
Like love, art relies on time, care and attention. The risks are great and sometimes can not be avoided.
Success in art is not really obvious or concrete. Success can be delayed, unknown or misinterpreted. Critical success, peer hype, commercial rewards and global reach can have both positive and negative sides.
wig out on this J.Z
Haha Tony Fucking Abbott,
I expect a lot of angry music in the next 4 years….
Khmer Rouge – Cambodian garage explosion
Brazilian Military Coup – Tropicalia
Nigerian military police and corruption – Fela Kuti and afrobeat
Thatcher – Punk
etc etc etc
Maybe it will finally be a new strong Australian musical movement.
Christian Marclay is a New York based sound and video artist who is best known for his explorations in the experiementing with existing art and pop culture and turning into something completely different. He mixes his avant-garde musicianship with performance art creating unique musical pieces. Marclay has been experimenting with vinyl records and turntables since the late 70’s, using this medium as an improvisational musical instrument. This work with vinyl records and turntables has been said as the birth of turntablism, influencing many genres and generations to come. Marclay has shared the stage with big names in avante-garde film and music including experimental rock band, Sonic Youth and free jazz legend, John Zorn. His 2010 film The Clock is considered a modern masterpiece. Marclay’s avant-garde approach was to attract questions of where, both serious art and pop culture begins and where it ends.
A piece I really love is called Guitar Drag, which is a video where Marclay drags a plugged in electric guitar from behind a truck on a gravel road. The guitar roars and whines and is a strangely emotive and musical piece.
I have played in bands for years and am now performing solo.
I have played at festivals and venues in Melbourne and Tasmania.
I have a psychedelic rock radio program on PBS 106.7fm.
I have almost finished my Bachelor of Creative Arts Industries.
My artistic goal is finding my own place between noisey experimentation with contemporary music. I find pleasure in sounds and ideas that have a psychedelic edge. I find the idea of scratchy and spontaneous work more appealing than slaved over and polished works. I don’t want my music to sound similar to others and by hastily home recording it. I feel I get more of myself on there than if I was to over think or over produce it.
Nearly all of my published material is improvised and unfinished (with intention to be finished but I know it won’t be).
I have several short and long term goals, all to my mind obtainable. I recently achieved a long term goal of mine, which has bled into lots of new goals and opportunities. I have a regular spot on PBS 106.7, a musically diverse and genre based community radio station in Melbourne. Through PBS, I have landed a lot of DJ work in bars around Melbourne, I would like in the short term to get a couple of regular nights. The money is great, the work is easy and I get free beer. I would love to start getting better DJ work. Recently I saw one of the girls from PBS got a DJ slot in the states at a festival in New Orleans. That made me start thinking about applying for spots at local music festivals such as Meredith and Golden Plains.
My main goal is to start travelling as a record collector and in turn being an income. I recently went to Thailand and went through weird second hand markets and peoples house trying to find old records. At one market there was this man who had a van full of old vinyl, he invited me to look through it and he offered me a beer so I accepted. He then put a handgun in my hand and said it was very cheap. It was very weird and sinister. However I came back with about 20 long play and 40 or so 7 inches, most of which are playable and some very good and some excellent. I want to start doing that a lot more. Eventually I might write about these travels to find records, because just in Thailand I found myself in a lot of odd situations purely trying to get records.
As far as making music goes, I am not too fused about that being some kind of income. I play for enjoyment and playing live is a thrill. That being said, I still would enjoy getting a little extra money. I did play at a music festival in Tasmania a couple of weeks ago. Was fun. I would like to start applying for grants to upgrade some equipment I have in order to record at a higher quality. I do like the DIY aesthetic, however my microphone cost $20 and it is 5 years old and the 8-track I record on has a light that flashes while it records and it affects the sound. I would also like to have enough money from a grant to put out a 7inch single. My music is instrumental and psychedelic, not really hit material, however I think someone will like it especially if it is put down on wax. I am unsure how successful I would be to get a grant due to I have not built up a fan base or made any real effort to push my music out there.. I do have a serious long term goal towards bettering myself as a musician.