Crystal Ball

Read about Patrick Jacobs
and his marvelous
(see below )

The visual artist today has their hands full, especially if they are trying to gain some notoriety, trying to approach and hold an audience with their artwork.  Many young artists are skeptical about the normal course of business with representation through the traditional art gallery business model.  They take to the streets.  The attrition rate among artists means that 95% of the likely emerging artists drop away for a variety of reasons.  Student debt at the college or university level is a big killer of artistic ambition!
Other factors are at work in the culture too.  There is a lack of consensus as to what kind of art will make a lasting contribution to our culture as we begin to age.  There is no monolithic touchstone for the modern artist, as there may have been during the days of the Abstract Expressionists years ago.  That was a time when I was growing up, and if you wanted to be a painter, well, your art had to look a certain way for people to pay attention and respect.  It is not that way anymore, he said, thankfully.
But what do we have in its place?  There are few regularly published art critics whose opinions people now follow and whom collectors respect, and today attention is being paid to art as an investment, and the artworld is more like watching commodity futures on Wall Street.
People still attend art school, but what are they learning?  Is it relevant at all?  Some people say that art can not be taught.  Others might say, O.K. just try and teach me something, I have my mind made up, and I know what I like!
This is a link to an article in Hyperallergic  ( a wonderful newsletter which you should subscribe to  ! ).
I was fascinated with this artist’s work when I saw it at the Armory Show a few years back.  Maybe, it was all about growing up in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and being aware of the great dioramas there.  But if you see Patrick Jacob’s miniature worlds, you can start to wonder about what it is you are seeing, and the artist behind it all.
Adam Francey at 1975 Gallery
Have you gone over to the new show at 1975 Gallery in Rochester?  Adam Francey was one of my students in the Graduate Painting program at R.I.T. and this is his first major solo show.  This exhibition has over twenty works, most of which are modest in scale and reflect his interest and mastery of the art of Tattoo.  I have been keeping up with Adam’s art through his Facebook postings and yet the art on view at 1975 Gallery adds another facet to this budding artist’s career.
His paintings remind me of Tony Fitzpatrick’s artwork, with strong design elements, flattened planes of color, and ever-present outlines in black.  There is a rise in the quality of Tattoo art and it certainly takes a personal commitment to wear one.  I have been getting posts also from my friend Alex Grey, and he sends images of his art being worn as a Tattoo, so maybe it won’t be too long from now before this starts showing up in places like The Museum of Modern Art.  Deal with it!
“A Bird in the Hand…”  by Adam Francey

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