art 5 SHOWS TO SEE NOW
Be a Professional Artist Today! By Jason Foumberg
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Pork & Politics
( 2 3 E a s t M a d i s o n St re e t ) A self-identified “second-generation collector” admitted, “I have never heard St u f f i t of a small artist group that’s having something [an exhibition] where anybody’s NEW AND NOTEWORTHY SHOWS reached out to me.” This was in the MCA’s auditorium at a well-attended panel disLOOP cussion on Chicago’s local art scene in November. The collector, who was seated in the audience, chose to respond to the topic of how emerging artists can connect !Pork & Politics⁄ 23 East Madison. Designer and street artist M i k e A n d r ew s with emerging collectors. The collector, who presumably lives in Chicago, admitted Ray Noland, famed for spray painting (Golden Gallery) to not shopping locally (and only at art fairs) because artists don’t invite him to their exhibitions. As a caveat, he images of Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich on Chicago streets and underYa r n a n d s t e e l bluntly told the audience, “What we see [in Chicago] is generally not appealing.” passes, pairs with the Chicago Urban Art Most artists need collectors if they’re expecting to be career artists, but this collector did not toss out calling Society (CUAS) to present “Pork & Politics,” a group show in one of the cards to the hundreds in attendance, nor identify his name. It’s likely that this collector, and many others, enjoy the Chicago Loop Alliance’s pop-up galleries. prestige of collecting art, yet collectors are not public figures. (The highest echelon of philanthropy is the “anony- Visitors to the space are engulfed in a branded, commercial environment; Noland Sv i t l a n a & Va sy l mous” donor). If you are an artist in Chicago you can probably name fifty fellow artists, twenty art galleries and painted the walls yellow, red and blue, Ya ryc h installed a yellow- and red-striped awning, maybe one art collector. This collector revealed a double-edged secret: collectors don’t need artists. and placed a red hotdog cart with yellow ( U k ra i n i a n I n s t i t u t e o f M o d e r n A r t ) “Each and every month commit to identifying a minimum of fifty potential collectors and make at least one sale,” lettering in the center of the room. A c o u p l e f ro m L’v i v writes Katharine T. Carter in her new book, “Accelerating on the Curves: The Artist’s Roadmap to Success.” Her According to color theory, red and yellow stimulate hunger, an idea often used by other advice for an artist to maintain good collector relations is to host an annual holiday cocktail party at your stu- the leading fast-food companies. Here, the dio, send a glass of champagne to a collector’s table if you spot them at a restaurant, always thank them for a sale colors echo the political appetites of the show’s subjects, who are leading national with a handwritten note, and update them with news about your current exhibitions. This last bit mirrors the com- and local political figures. Grinding togethA h Wi l d e r n e s s ! er varied allusions to politics and hotdogs, plaint of the unidentified Chicago collector. Carter’s words of wisdom are not, in fact, unrealistic, but how does an the exhibition peddles mixed messages ( E b e r s m o o re G a l l e r y ) artist who is not represented by a gallery connect with collectors in the first place? “Get creative,” she says. and hidden meanings encased by slick surInto the wild faces. About a third of the works deal with Collectors are not just museum aristocrats, but also your dentist, accountant, realtor, or friend who is an interior national issues. In Noland’s “Capitol Pork,” the Capitol building is divided neatly into designer. different cuts of meat—whether belly, fat, “The Artist’s Roadmap to Success” is the latest do-it-yourself art business manual. It joins a small but growing or rib—ready to be sold. Another, “Rangel genre of workbooks aimed at the type of artists begging for rules in this unregulated and conflicted art world. As Dog,” depicts Charlie Rangel caught taking H e l p Wa n t e d his piece of the cut in a New York deli. The such, Carter’s book makes use of a motor vehicle motif (taking the wheel and accelerating on this superhighway show is most successful when it hits clos(The Exhibition Agency) may lead you on detours or dead-ends, etc). The workbook is the product of a decades-long career as an art advi- est to home, telescoping on Chicago. While Office politics Noland’s “Chicago Dog” series is more sor and collaborator with arts professionals, and Carter peppers her three-step program to artistic success with nonpartisan, highlighting Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Daley and Carol Moseley Braun posnuggets of experience and real-world expectations. “There are no guarantees of any kind in the art world,” she able local color, Svitlana, a professor in the ing with the iconic Chicago hotdog, other writes, and success can take at least fifteen years of hard work. Carter’s assumed reader is an artist who aspires to artists are less impartial. In biting portraits, Department of Clothing Design at the L’viv Academy of the Arts, might even be conshow in art galleries, make a living from sales, and whose climax of success might include being selected for the Don’t Fret lampoons political gluttony, sidered more of a fabric designer than a including George Ryan’s imprisonment and Whitney Biennial. painter. Meanwhile, her husband, Vasyl Ted Mazola’s “sweet deal” for supporting (born 1951), was obviously trained by the the destruction of Maxwell Street, and Carter proceeds as if the art world were a smoothly operating machine built to reward all good artists. After you Soviet academy to achieve didactic monuSOLO adds fiendish horns to Pat Quinn’s mentality rather than naturalism or individidentify your fifty collectors and make some sales, you need to befriend curators and have group and solo exhibitions forehead. Whether it’s the colors, food ual self-expression. But he has carried that imagery or staged political drama, this at increasingly prestigious venues. But this charm-school guide for artists needs a troubleshooting section. What if formalist ability to make things look large show left me hungry for more of the same. and important over into the intimate world the curators on your list of pivotal exhibition sites simply dislike your work? How do you contact galleries that explic- Fortunately, CUAS’s Executive Director, of domestic life, and the outstanding work Lauren Pacheco, hopes to move the show itly discourage cold submissions? How do you cultivate established collectors, not just sympathetic friends? in this exhibition is his series of “conversato a larger vacant space on State Street tions” that feature half-naked, lanky young next month, and plans on serving up more Carter’s main premise concerns the building of a network of supporters, a truism in our day of an ever-expanding couples entwined in each others’ limbs artwork and real Chicago dogs at the reart world. Her best gems of strategy, though, are found in asides and digressions. Artists can have direct access to opening. (Laura Fox) Through December 31. and staring into each others’ eyeless faces. These couples are sexy, but it is the sex curators by joining museum affiliate groups, she writes, and even get their work into collections through donations. between lifelong companions. There’s a UKRAINIAN VILLAGE Carter would do well to finesse these strategies for her readers, as some of her co-authors do, but artists who are gentle, loving, dreamy, domesticity in all Ukrainian Institute¤ their work, including the traditional mythic taking the self-enrichment route and reading books like this should also consider reading their antidote, the gosof Modern Art . themes that Vasyl has approached. The sipy, behind-the-scenes tales such as “Seven Days in the Art World.” Yarychs enhance the surrounding space 2320 West Chicago. !SVITLANA & VASYL instead of assaulting or rejecting it. They I sometimes hear artists ask, how do I show outside of Chicago? Carter addresses the transformation of a career YARYCH, painting, sculpture. Like many of present a sweet, beautiful and conventionthe other artists from L’viv whom the from local to national, and is realistic about the timeline, but dare I say, she is too hopeful. In her epilogue, Carter Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art has al world that humanity needs but always seems to be destroying, especially in twenoffers an anecdote as metaphor. She embarked on a weeks-long European pilgrimage and was yards from the pin- brought to Chicago, the Yarychs are more tieth-century L’viv where a third of the interested in using rather than defying nacle of her hundreds of miles-long journey, a holy shrine, when the priest in-charge stopped the line. Carter admits their cultural legacy. The quiet and mystepopulation (the Jews) were murdered by the Nazis and then sixty percent of those rious paintings of Svitlana Yarych (born to sobbing at her unfair share, but then a fellow traveler “said something in Spanish” to the priest, who proceeded left (the Poles) were deported by the 1960) are closer to Byzantine icons than to to open the gate just for Carter. She says she gained access to her final destination because she stayed committed. romantic realism or anything else that’s Soviets. With such a history, who wouldn’t be longing for peace and harmony? (Chris But the truth is, a stranger intervened on her behalf, and someone else held the key that opened the gate to her come out of Western Europe in the last two Miller) Through January 30. centuries. But the sweet, young, ghostly goal. There is no guidebook to getting lucky, but I wish there were. faces that emerge from her upbeat, color-
“Accelerating on the Curve: The Artist’s Roadmap for Success” retails for $95 at ktcassoc.com
ful patterns belong in the home rather than the church. With her emphasis on enjoy-