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Re: [BKARTS] Fabrication/frustration/sex and drugs
>Back to the bench to ponder why sex and drugs is in the header.
Charlene's issue is somewhat different. The situation I originally described at
is when artists create Works (whether with their own hands or not
isn't a consideration) that are based largely on the ideas and
original work of other artists. If the originator is "unknown" and
the artist who uses the idea is famous, then the famous artist is
likely to get richer on it while the obscure artist may die in
poverty. This stimulated Charlene, which is good, as it expanded the
The sex and drugs came into it the usual way. If you are squeamish
about such things, don't read the rest of this paragraph. I was
writing about the New York City art world of the 1970's and 80's, and
how to become a poker chip. If you were male and willing to have a
same gender curator insert a rigid organ into your gastrointestinal
tract then you had a much better chance of getting into certain very
important collections and exhibitions. There were other players with
different interests. There were upper art world murders and
suspicious deaths, which you might recall. I wasn't hyperbolizing
when I said City Confidential. If you provided dealers, collectors,
curators and critics with heroin, reefer, cocaine, acid, mescaline,
mushrooms, or whatever then you would also have a better chance of
making a substantial art career and going to all the "right" parties.
It wasn't the 40's or 50's and the Cedar Tavern. Artists then had no
idea that there would ever be Money in it.
The question of credit for ghosting others' art is something else. My
1980 business card was entirely in Copperplate Gothic and said
"Richard Minsky / General Fabricator / To The Trade Only." Besides
books, I fabricated works in all media, including sculpture and
installation art. None of them had any credit or indication of my
work, and only went under the name of the "artist." Of course I had a
lot to do with the design, and the "museum finish" that I specialize
in was entirely due to my skills in handling materials that the
"artist" couldn't work with. That was ok with me, because the "idea"
was the artist's. It was my job to refine and realize that "idea" as
a museum quality object. I would suggest design, materials, and
construction methods, and the artist would have final approval. To
me, it was a job, and one my studio was well suited for. I had worked
as a photographer in the warehouse of the Hirshhorn Museum, handled
and photographed over over 2,000 works of art there, and knew what a
museum object should look and feel like.
I put my name on it when it's my idea and I have final approval. It
doesn't matter who makes it.
If Charlene's book was her idea, and the artist is a collaborator,
then credit is due. Ken feels the word "design" is the key. That's a
tricky one, and gets us into the relationship between art and design.
Any of a number of designs can be suitable to a work of art without
altering the idea. If the artist asks for a 6' x 10' book, it's the
artist's choice, and if there are other design factors that are not
important to the book as a work of art, then they are not an
issue. Could someone else have made the binding without altering the
book's concept as a work of art? If not, then the binder's name belongs on it.
Design is not art. Design is to art as engineering is to science.
Design can be used in the service of art, or of merchandising. A
building is known by its architect, not the structural engineer. It's
a visionary thing. When discussing typography the boundaries can
blur. That's when the discussion gets interesting. Boundary conditions.
How many "artists" have used Barton Benes's 1973 idea of a book tied
up in rope with or without nails in it? I've seen at least four
exhibitions with imitations of his "Censored Book" or "Bound
Book" that seem to claim the work on exhibit is original.
And if you want to throw another element into it, we can discuss
academia-- what it gives you as an artist and what it takes away.
Bruce and Kathy are correct if it's an issue for you--work out a
credit agreement in advance, and sign the binding. I use a "binder's
ticket." But it doesn't go in every book I make.
Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
Entry Deadline, September 15, 2006
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