Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Unconventional Venues

This is what I did on Monday. I mounted my drawings and matted them, framed some, added hanging hardware, and put identification labels on the back.

These drawings are destined for a show at our local fine lingerie shop. They like to intersperse the lacy bits with fine art and feature a different artist every month or two. When you think about it, lingerie and nudes actually pair quite nicely.

I also have two textile pieces in a display case at the National Institutes of Health. They have a full time curator who makes sure the walls are filled with high quality, diverse art, both permanent and changing, for patients and visitors to enjoy.

Next month I am also taking my Army Wife series on the road. I will display two quilts and six aprons at a fancy luncheon for the spouses of high ranking officers in all branches of the military. The keynote speaker for this year's luncheon is the author of Army Wives, so my artwork will be a good compliment.

I'm not sure what to expect in sales or other doors opening in these unconventional venues. So far nothing has panned out from the NIH, but at least the work is in public and not under my bed. The lingerie shop has sales potential, which would be great. I don't expect any sales of the artwork at the luncheon, but I do think I'll have an appreciate audience who would not otherwise see their stories in artwork. I'll be bringing catalogs and card sets though, so I hope to be able to sell some of those to remind viewers of my work.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

To Title or Not to Title

Liz Kettle on the blog today.
As some of my new work becomes more abstract I am re-thinking the need and use of titles. While most of my work is still narrative and based in story some of my newer pieces aren't. I am at a loss as to how to title them.

As usual, when I start wondering about something I started doing some research on titles and found some fun stuff like this Abstract Art Titlegenerator. Now, one could have a lot of fun and waste days here!

I also learned that naming art is a rather recent development. Renaissance painters did not title their work. Pieces were referred to under general categories such as the artist, the patron, or the subject. While mid 17th century artist may have started naming their paintings, it seems that art dealers and galleries may be the real instigators of the trend toward titles. They need to keep track of art and sell it after all. Names certainly help with that.

Obviously some work can simply be titled factually as with landscapes/urban-scapes, people, pets, and still life work. However in abstract work titles just don't usually leap out.

On one hand titles make it easier to identify a specific piece of work and to refer to it when writing. Titles can be practical when exhibiting your work, getting the right information with the right piece, ensuring catalog descriptions are accurate and may cause a second look from a viewer after they read the title as they try to understand the meaning of the piece. This is especially true if you use mysterious or sentimental and symbolic titles.

On the other hand, titles can imply specific meaning or suggest what the artist was thinking and attempting to communicate in their work. But, is that not simply telling the viewer what to see, feel and think? Does that leave enough room for the viewer to find their own meaning in the art?

One can identify a series and use numbers like  Thread #298 I suppose. Is that better than simply untitled? Or I suppose I could name it Untitled Thread #298. Each piece has a meaning for me but that meaning may not be something anyone else would ever care about.

What are your thoughts on titles?
Do you want to understand what the artist was thinking or exploring?
Would you prefer to just enter each piece of art with no title to influence your thinking?