Art groupie at quarter-career

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[Ed. note: this post has been edited to correct two things: The image has been changed and is now a Bromirski image. And below, the name Spencer Finch has been deleted and Jeff Koons has been added. Sorry for the confusion.]

Two things rang my bell this morning. One is kinda funny and the other is kinda not-funny. Martin Bromirski, artist and anaba blogger, has a post about trying to define what is a mid-career artist. Apparently a standard definition is “7 years of professional practice.” Bromirski considers he’s at quarter-career, not mid career but he’s freaked out by the clock ticking and the measurement of a career. People like Tim Hawkinson and Andrea Fraser whose careers are huge are referred to as mid-career. If you’re using them as a measuring stick the bar is set pretty darn high.

All those descriptors like “emerging, mid-career, established” seem bureaucratic stickers to file people away in tidy drawers and not have to think more about them. It’s counter-productive ultimately to slot yourself in any category. Libby and I have been working now as collaborating artists for 16 years. That puts us in the “aged like fine wine” category. Early on, we were in the “unripe cheese” category and then plateaued in “crispy tofu.” What’s the diff. Making art over a lifetime is a journey and my measuring stick of success is how plugged in to the community you are. That’s not going to correlate with financial success of course but it feels like a more real indicator of success as an artist than financial success anyway.

Thomas Kinkade is successful mid-career artist. That’s a dark thought.

Meanwhile, and because people are made of many parts, Bromirski, one of my flickr buddies, has another aspect of his quarter-career going on — “art groupie.” He’s got a set of photos in which he poses with the famous at some art opening or other. There are three photos so far: Bromirski with Julian Schnabel; Bromirski with, I think, Jeff Koons; and, the best, Bromirski with Eva and Adele. Check them out here.

Eva and Adele, for all you Eva and Adele groupies out there, are having a show at Claire Oliver in Chelsea opening Oct. 14.

(image is a Bromirski painting. See more at his inliquid page.)

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