Friday, June 8, 2012

Artists and Facebook

Collaborative Drawing and Paintings

The Internet has real potential to connect artists who produce similar work and materialize into curated group exhibitions.  The only real criteria that you need to do this is to be active on Facebook, read blogs, be willing to meet with people face to face (don't be shy now), and oh yeah... create art.  Julie Torres, a Brooklyn based artist, organized one such exhibition of painters and drawers titled "All Together Now".  I saw this exhibition among others during the Bushwick Open Studios 2012 in Brooklyn this past weekend at The Coin Locker.  The show was excellent.  About fifteen artists were showing several works each.  Moreover all of the artists were non-Brooklyn based and came from around the country and some internationally. 
  
The common thread holding these artists together other than all of their work being abstract was Facebook.  That's how they all met and as Julie Torres explained they didn't just "friend" each other on-line and decide to have a show together... they developed relationships with one another, shared each others art online, and then decided to meet in person to have an exhibition and collaborate. 

And that's just what they did just days before "All Together Now" opened.  The artists participating in this exhibition met at Hyperallergic HQ in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and collaborated on several pieces that were later exhibited.  Interestingly enough these collaborations appeared as if created by one artist... one mind... which is a manifestation of their similarities as artists and the connection they have with one another.
I spoke to two artists in the exhibit about their participation in the show.  Brian Edmonds was from Alabama and Brian Cypher was from an hour north of Seattle.  Both were about 40 years old and had families to support.  Neither had easy access to a thriving art scene and did not want to move to New York or any other major city.  So they turned to the Internet, found blogs to follow, and made friends on Facebook, all the while continuously expanding their network of artists from around the globe.

Other painters like the abstract artist Valerie Brennan, who now lives in Spain and writes a popular blog named "Studio Critical", have become Facebook hubs for emerging artists to connect with one another.  Julie Torres, curator of "All Together Now", is the same.  By friending artists with vast networks on Facebook you can follow their activity with a watchful eye for ideas, suggestions, and people that you relate to.  But remember, the point is not to take from the on-line community but rather to participate in and offer it something everyone can benefit from.  Sharon Butler, artist and blogger of "Two Coats of Paint", and Lauren Munk, artist and vlogger of "The James Kalm Report" on YouTube, have amassed enormous networks throughout the art world because they give the rest of something we find really useful... namely, an intimate day by day glimpse into the contemporary art world.

What about me?  I must admit, I'm not a dedicated Facebook user.  For some people, like myself, we just don't enjoy it enough to be on it everyday.  My way of being part of the on-line community of artists is to write my thoughts about exhibitions I see, articles I read, or artists I meet on my blog.  I originally started "Always Be an Emerging Artist" because I wanted people who visited my website to get an idea of what I'm interested in, looking at, thinking about, so they could get to know me better.  But now, I'm motivated to blog because its a great way to meet other artists and make new friends.  When I go to a show and see an artists work that I really like I can write a positive review of the exhibition and email it to the artist, or in some cases, interview the artist.  Again, it's all about offering the community something it can benefit from.  And most importantly, if you enjoy what you are doing your audience probably will too.


Brian Cypher


Yifat Gat


Yifat Gat


Julie Alexander

Vincent Hawkins


Vincent Hawkins

Collaborations


Ian White Williams

Ian White Williams

David T Miller


The following images are from other exhibitions in Bushwick that I happened upon.



Eric Gottshall

Sara Marie Miller

Bushwick Street Art



4 comments:

  1. fantastic work, ideas and as these artists have done, I've been reaching out and finding some really amazing works and beings out there doing just what this group did! Great article!

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