Pearls from artists* # 566

July 5, 2023

With “Sacrificial” (left), 70” x 50” framed and “Disruptor,” 35” x 28.5” framed; both are soft pastel on sandpaper

*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Money, fame. It was funny, it was confusing. It was the end. The purity was gone. “I vividly experienced the change of climate with the financial boom in the art world,” Mercedes [Matter] said. “The change from taking poverty and obscurity for granted to competing for a place in the spotlight. At the Cedar [Tavern] one began hearing many talking about galleries over their bourbons instead… [of] about art as before over their beers.” Artists had become entertainers, selling themselves and their gifts for a piece of paper, the almighty dollar, emblazoned with a new motto, “In God We Trust.” Paul Brach said 1957 was the last year that artists made other artists’ reputations. From then on, they were made by a machine called “the art establishment.” “Career, the nemesis of our past, had crept up on all of us,” Larry [Rivers] said. It was like a virus, something all of them had but none of them wanted. At least in the abstract.

Mary Gabriel in Ninth Street Women

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