As a lad, Stelarc was suspended from high school for hanging out with bad types. He’d hooked up with the wrong crowd.
Project Art Business (Card)-
Warhol said the best art was business. He would say that, he sold his shit. He sold all his shit, except for that last series with Jean Michel Basquait. They didn’t flog even one of those collaborative paintings when that show opened. That show was a big flop if you can believe it. Both artists died thinking that work was a flop. Flops put a lot of pressure on creative friendships. A cynic would say it was only the death of both artists that renewed interest in the work. Timing really is everything. I’m thinking about art business. I’ve been trying to do some. It’s not going well. My spreadsheets won’t add up, no matters how wide I spread my sheets. My personal investments into art, way exceed my returns. But still they take, they take…..
The Australian Tax Office tried to cancel my ABN. Said they couldn’t see any evidence there was a business being conducted. Which is weird because technically, I’m a businesswoman. I was on hold so long to the ATO, trying to plead my case and saving my poor ABN digits from deletion, that all the credit on my prepaid phone plan got gobbled up. I told the helpful young man on the phone he could come over to my home studio and see all the art crap scattered about in disarray, if he needed evidence I was an artist. It’s not my fault people have crap taste in art I told him. Arseholes!
I’m a better artist than Banksy, for instance, I assured him and everyone knows Banksy. I tried to sign him up to my art blog, nattysolo.com, but he said he was busy. That’s the ATO guy, not Banksy.
Who you know is really important in this game. This art game. It’s so important, there are courses and seminars and conferences and professional developments on how to network your ass off at the myriad of festivals and art openings and launches and relaunches that clog up the calendar.
There are strict, unspoken rules on how to behave at these functions, if you want to get to the next level. I forget what they are but recall that the terms ‘ass’ and ‘licking’ feature high up within the code. The higher the net worth of an individual or the institution they head, the more tongue you’ll see. Within the social situation that is. What goes on behind closed doors is not my, nor your business. We’re all grown ups who look the other way sometimes.
I’ve been collecting art business card contacts for years now. They haven’t helped. First they were strewn throughout my life; hidden in pockets and under desks or flat-packed into a favourite purse. Then I turned a new leaf and got professional, my life needed some order. So I gathered the hundreds of details together, slotted them into their plastic sleeping bags that I buy from Officeworks and felt much better. Looking at them together, I saw a kind of portrait: A Portrait of the art world. It’s an accompaniment to the archive of photographic portraits that are the basis of nattysolo.com. The business cards reassure me that there’s a potential to do more business tomorrow than has been done today, so it’s optimistic work.
The Art Business Cards (ABC’s) are also a portrait of design. The design of the representation of the self, through color and font and title, simple decisions that say a lot about a person. They illustrate how you want to brand yourself. Or rebrand yourself. But I’m not going to talk about design. Design ain’t art and I’m an artist, not a designer.
English comedy rules, here’s Cardinal Burns taking the piss out of Banksy, intro, 3.43mins. Watch for Banksy explaining the concepts behind his work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9RJobsmuro
Cardinal Burns, Banksy, E4, 2.14mins
French and Saunders: Art Gallery 4.11mins
French and Saunders Art Critic sketch 1.06mins
Nat Thomas: Is this the Real life? 1.07 mins
Deadpan, curated by Abigail Moncrieff, features work by Heath Franco and Z. O’Mahoney (both NSW) and also includes new work by artists Mitch Cairns (NSW) and Nat Thomas (Vic) and two sculptural works by Ronnie can Hout (Vic)
2 October – 21 November 2015