This is it. This is the last Arbitrary Art Grant before the Dada Economics exhibit opens in three weeks. Now some may say “Art Dealer! Why that’s not some one you give grants to! Give it to the artists.” And my response is three fold- All artists that exhibit their work are part dealer, all dealers are part artist and lastly- sit on it bigmouth.
There are a few artists that exist in a vacuum and don’t show their work, don’t try and sell their work, find some other way to pay the rent. Hell, besides those that live off sticks and grub or trust funds and rich husbands, the great majority of us are hustling day to day. So some of us flip burgers and flip homes. The art world is mighty and complex and only partly ran on angst and creativity. A great portion of this alternate universe is fueled by critics, dealers, curators and rich people. Take them out of the equation and the art portion of the art world looks quite a bit different. Looks a bit like Howard Finster’s backyard.
Yes, like it or not, the health of our cultural identity relies on a great network of participants and removing one can throw the whole planet off its axis. So for our next grant, we are recognizing the importance of a properly lubricated art machine, a healthy balance of bottom feeders and fishermen, the consequences of any one aspect of our culture suffering. Buying art keeps painters painting and photographers clicking. It pays bills, it inspires more work, it sponsors more ambitious projects, it brings more beauty into the world. No lie. Take away the consumer and the supply slows. Speed up consumption and art falls out of the sky like seagull shit. Easy, fluid, effortless.
This Thursday we are going back to a block that once upon a time defined Seattle. It was a single block of simple one story storefronts. Nothing fancy, not architecturally significant. But it hosted an array of local businesses, bars and an old rental house. It claimed home to the ChaCha, Bimbo’s Burritos, Man Ray, Lipstick Traces, Kincora’s and a convenience store that always advertised cheap beer with bikini clad models. You know the block.
They tore the heart of Capitol Hill out and replaced it with a parking lot. The great comedy of greed. But this Thursday we are going to create a new gallery on that block, lay down a hundred and fifty feet of white rope, define an entrance and call it home. It is our 2009 Arbitrary Art Grant for Art Dealing, and we invite you to strap on a painting, a photograph, some 2-D piece of art- around your neck like a big Flav necklace. Hell, put a price tag on it. And step on this white rope. With enough people, your bodies will become the walls, and for an hour, pedestrians can stroll into this temporary structure and view a selection of poorly curated work (one thing at a time, alright?) Artists- throw on your work. Friends- try and hawk your shy artist friends work. Dealers- extend your arms and hang a tryptich just to show the punks how it is done. Maybe you sell something, maybe not. But one person will walk with $500.00 cash, chosen randomly, in one small effort to recognize and appreciate the true nature of our arts culture. Plus, how cool would it be to make a gallery out of bodies? Come one, come all! The Arbitrary Art Grant in Art Dealing is a rain or shine event, open to all people, of all skill levels, and all that jazz…