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Art Now?

One Long General Thought About How I See Art and My Work Now

 

Comparable to many people you may know, I just graduated college. A year ago, I knew I would find myself to be at this crossroad of transition and uncertainty—yada yada, we know this age-old spiel. I always do that to myself, I try to predict how I’m going to feel in a future moment to brace and prepare myself (and yeah, anxiety is giving its’ approval on this one). It’s accurate—I feel so uncertain but so excited at the same time and I know I would feel like this with or without a pandemic happening. A pandemic makes it worse, though. Does anyone else feel like they have to start their career now, NOW? I want steady income and stability but is that even a possible 22-years-old-middle-of-pandemic possibility? I want to know what everyone else is doing to feel security in my path, but is there really a “right way” right now? Absolutely not. 

 

The last few months of art school prepared me for what art is going to “be like” now, whether that was my own routine or the larger orbit in which the art world revolves around. Art isn’t always making something physical. In the last few months, through conversations with friends and artists alike, I’ve come to realize it’s thinking and reading and looking and small businesses (I see y'all!) selling cookies or whatever. Sometimes it weans on this intimidating structure of, “you havta be in a show and be collected and hang ya paintings on this white wall!”. That's what I learned in school. I don’t understand it to necessarily be this way anymore or at least right now[1]. Galleries are important and honorable. I miss swinging by and stopping at show openings. My work right now though is not headed in a gallery direction and I'm honoring that.

 

Social media has been around in the art world orbit for quite some years now. Look up practically any living artist and you’ll find their Instagram. I can’t stand social media but I enjoy the accessibility of it. I like putting art on websites and online shows. Anyone can see pieces from museums on their phones now and it seems less daunting and more participatory. Who gets to participate in art now? Make art now? Show art now? That’s the art I always wanted to be a part of and aspire to do for the continuation of my career. We’ve learned that art teachers and art education in all disciplines are a necessary part of our systems. 

 

It has been succoring to see my friends (art school and non-art school) thriving in the ways they talk about their current positions and future objectives. And while things are ever-changing on a spectrum ranging from frightening to delightful, we can’t all make art all the time. Or we can make art all the time. Or we just don’t make. Whatever your preference is, it’s okay to not put pressure on yourself (and I’m telling myself this just as much).

 

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[1] this opinion is my own and can absolutely be disagreeable.  

© 2020 Eden Russo Art