Tag Archives: artists

‘Use it, Baby’

When faced with the seemingly insurmountable odds against becoming ‘an artist of note’, I frequently find myself at the point of despair. This happened again recently with my visit to Paddington where ‘real artists’ are presented daily to a buying public in the best spaces by the best galleries at the best five digit prices. When with immense bravery I inquired about whether I could send in a CV and some images for the Director’s perusal, I was met with a nonplussed stare. The cool receptionist tried her best not to be patronizing but what she said settled that. ‘Our Director only exhibits those who she herself has noticed on the art scene. Perhaps you could try the artist’s run initiatives and work at coming up through the ranks.’ This was actually good advice – for someone just starting out and in their mid-twenties. For me, on the other hand, it was immensely degrading. I am aware that I am not known in any capacity in NSW, but the presumption is that I am, therefore, not a quality artist. Should I believe this? No!

‘Use everything in your life to create art’ is what the playwright, Sidda, in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was told by her colleagues when her mother cruelly upstaged her once again.

Yet, in the still, wee hours of the night……..and I am awake, thinking…I could do without this eternal struggle.

Playtime by Alasdair Macintyre

What fun to see an artist take a jab at the art scene and then be bought by those very same people! Playtime is a satirical dip into the world of art with all its crass trashiness and its discriminating commodification. Here the artist is portrayed as both the sign and the signifier and as such, is easy pickings for each cynical diorama. I like it!

Using toys for art is not new. Consider Destiny Deacon and her dolls of social consciousness. Also, Emily Floyd’s ominous rabbits caught in art intrigue.

It’s all fun and games until someone….gets collected. For big money. I wonder if Macintyre’s art can maintain the edge of sincerity now that he is clearly endorsed and widely consumed? In fact, isn’t he himself now completely objectified instead of flippantly objecting? Still, I wish him well and applaud his droll yet refreshing sense of ‘joie de vivre’. Anyway, what’s not to like?