I have been thinking about editions ever since I placed my work at Saatchi Online and was prompted to choose the edition size of each piece. I was looking at John Paul Capinigro’s website once and he was offering editions of his prints where the price went up with each new print sale, in order to ensure the future value of the work while at the same time enabling him to print multiple editions. I think that this is a very clever approach to the problem of editions. I think that all artists who work in reproducible mediums have grappled with this problem. Do we make limited or open editions? Do we limit our work to one print per image in order to make each piece more valuable? Brett Weston burned most of his negatives on his 81st birthday.
For some time now I have been toying with the idea of limiting my production to one print per image. I would do this partially for the value it would place on each piece, but also for the fact that I would rather not keep revisiting the old work. I’m more interested in producing new work.
I may select certain photos for limited additions, but I think for the most part I am going to end up making one print for each image. The next question is do I burn my DVD’s when I turn 81?
The purpose of art, at its core, is communication. The initial inspiration that an artist feels is almost always personal. The first person that must be satisfied by a work of art must be the artist. Once art is produced the next logical step is to show it to the world. This is where most artists dilemma appears; how to get the work in front of an audience. The easiest way to do that is to upload images to a web site that accepts work to be featured, and there are plenty of sites that serve this purpose. The problem is that just uploading files does not guarantee that your work will be viewed. The artist must actively promote the work.
Most serious artists ultimate ambition is for gallery representation or at the very least to be included in shows. This can be a difficult goal to realize and I would guess a large amount of art work is in storage, lacking an outlet for display.
Recently I visited my local arts council to touch base as I have been interning with them since last August. I found out about an upcoming show that I could submit my work to while having a casual conversation with the director of the program. The moral of the story is that the most important factor in furthering an art career are the contacts.
If you read my blog entitled “The Price We Pay For Art” you know that I was having a problem accessing one of my favorite spots to capture images. I went several weeks before I got the courage to drive my vehicle past the no trespassing sign and thus avoiding the tick infested journey I was afraid of. I am so glad that I made the decision for not only did I avoid the nasty bugs but taking the car with me to the site made the whole experience more pleasant and creatively fruitful.
I recently returned to the abandoned shed to make some images. I had planned the trip all week and just before I left my sister in law offered to take me to see the new Star Trek movie. I had one hour to drive to the park, walk to the train bridge, then up the trail to the abandoned shed, photograph something meaningful, then retrace my steps back home. I was walking through some tall grass at one point remembering the hospital stay that a tick had caused me three years earlier.
I made my way to the shed and with little time to work I made quick decisions about what I wanted to do and got to work. I spent a total of twenty minutes making images of three different wrappings. I only had five minutes to get back to the car so that I would be on time for the movie, so I hurried on my way back.
When I got home I put my gear in my office, grabbed a bite to eat and got in the car with my sister in law to leave for the movie. As I was driving toward the theatre I noticed something on my left arm, it was a tick. I removed it at the next stop light and thought nothing more of it. We went to the movie and enjoyed it very much.
Later at home, while processing one of the images, I looked down and saw four more ticks, three small ones and another big one. This really freaked me out and by the time I was done checking myself I had removed and killed about fifteen ticks, small and large.
I usually stay away from areas where I might have a tick jump on me, but the work I have been doing at this abandoned shed has really inspired me creatively. I do not know wether I will return or find a different way to get to that location but I am determined to continue with the work I am doing, ticks be damned.
In a recent post about a new spot I have found to photograph in I described the anxiety I was feeling due to the fact that I was essentially tress passing and breaking into an abandoned building. While looking over the two images that I posted from that session I was struck by the thought that worthwhile work can come from stressful situations. It seems the energy from the anxiety I as feeling translated into a burst of creativity. This creativity was short lived but intense, and I produced two images that I am very proud of, so there must be a link between creativity and stress.
I have been searching for the perfect place to restart my wrapped project ever since I moved to Springfield, MO. I have made many scouting expeditions which consisted of me driving around trying to find an abandoned building. I was having no luck until a few months ago I noticed a building behind a large fence set back about 100 yards from a road I travelled on frequently for several years. Two days ago I confirmed my hunch that this shack was connected to the remote urban area I have been photographing recently. The connecting road can be seen in the image “Three Objects”. That road would take me the back way up to the shack I had seen from the street as I drove by earlier.
I had made up my mind that I was going to explore the shack so I set out over the train bridge which is the only way to cross the river and find this secluded area. I decided to make some art in the area I was already familiar with first before exploring my new playground. Honestly I was a little apprehensive, I had no idea what I would find a the shack or if anyone would be there to chase me away.
As I was photographing a small wrapping in the open area I noticed a piece of brand new red luggage was sitting in the concrete cylinder that I had used for “Wrap #8″. That piece of luggage had not been there two weeks before when I photographed “Three Objects”. The item still had the cardboard on the front advertising its features, which made me curious as to what might be inside. I decided to open the luggage and found nothing inside, but the fact that it was there highlighted for me that this place was no secret, and that made me anxious for the rest of the day.
Despite my anxiety I decided to press on with my original plan to explore the shack. My original intent was only to see if it would be safe to enter the structure and if anyone was living there. The large fence that was in front of the structure hid me from view of the street where the traffic was, but I was still afraid of being seen as I remembered that on the other side of the fence where the words NO TRESS PASSING in large spray painted letters. There was an opening in the fence large enough to drive a vehicle though which lined up with the front door to the building. This, I thought, is where someone will see me from the street. I pressed on, reminding myself that even if someone saw me they probably wouldn’t care enough to call the police. Besides, I am only making art, not vandalising.
I entered the structure and started working and as soon as I did all my fears where melted away by the euphoria of creativity. Creation is like a drug for me, it makes the world disappear for a while. I created two images and decided to call it a day, I had to pick up my wife from an appointment. I left the way I came in and was back home within 15 minutes (this place is very convenient).
Later that night as I was getting ready for bed I found a tick on my shoulder. I spent 5 days in the hospital due to a tick bite several years ago, so I did not like seeing this intruder trying to snack on me. I processed the two images almost immediately and posted them to my blog. “Wrap #10” and “Wrap #11“.