Invitation Policy


James Ensor, La Colere, 1904, etching from a copper plate, with hand coloring, on ivory wove paper, 93 x 144 mm (image)

James Ensor, La Colere, 1904, etching from a copper plate, with hand coloring, on ivory wove paper, 93 x 144 mm (image)

I'm instituting a new invitation policy. Please read before inviting me to your show.

I've discussed openly before how, when I review a show of someone I know or have met, or a show I was invited to, I tend to be nicer than I ordinarily would. Of course it's easier to say mean things about someone you've never met than about someone you've shaken hands with.

But over the years I've learned something: Even when I try to be nice I make people angry. Even when I try to be less critical than I would be usually, the people I write about get mad at me.

There are two ways I can approach this, then. First, I can stop reviewing any shows by people I know. Or, second, I can institute this policy. Since I write art reviews -- it's what I do -- I won't be stopping.

If I'm going to get yelled at regardless, I might as well be totally honest. So this is my new policy: If you invite me to your show, or invite me to look at your art, I am going to be brutally honest. This goes for anyone, whether they're friends, aquaintances, buddies, or dating my daughter. You have my one hundred percent iron-clad money back guarantee that you will not like what I have to say. You think you'll like it, but you won't.

If you still choose to invite me to your show, you've been warned.


Chris, wait, if somebody you took notice of and didn't trash is still upset, even though you're not a "major" critic like Saltz or a "star" art blogger, what would this person do if somebody with a bigger audience and bigger influence gave him/her a neutral (let alone negative) review? Run out and commit terrorism? Commit suicide? I mean, really, somebody needs to chill out and/or get a grip. Sheesh.

Paddy who? Is that the art fag?

That's not what I meant by a star art blogger. I meant somebody like Tyler Green, but whatever.

>As far as being invited to critique your show, ar born, I just got a message a few minutes ago from one of the artists yelling at me. And not one of the ones I was negative about. What I'm saying is, you think you'd like to invite me, but it wouldn't be long before you hated me too.

Lol, nah Chris, honest reviews ain't worth getting het up about. One either agrees with them or not. Even crit. from art fashion slaves isn't worth the bile. I started work in theatre where one learns that all publicity is good publicity, so I shrug and get on with the next piece.

do it up. keep killing it. Ensor is guided by voices.

i bought "All that is solid melts into air" last week - the title of which is a quote from marx - the book was five bucks used - remembered Tim Kent's show was titled that. I called it pretentious, but look at me, buying a book about urban planning and modernity. And it's interesting - this Berman chap tells a story about Faust and stuff. I think art should speak for itself, but when or where it doesn't, it should have a ideas like in this book behind it. Stuff like building the boulevards in paris (baudillaire/Walter Benjamin) vs. Moses freeways through NYC - or Faust and going from agrarian societies to urban ones - and back again - and also the conflicted relations of the summer house vs the town house (Federalist Papers) vs the outhouse. What is modern? You don't get that stuff in school so much, or at least I didn't - so much theory is fashion, or out of fashion (Pure Marx with some Foucault or Barthes or something). What if you got a lowbrow college course with Malcolm Gladwell on the reading list - wouldn't that be so much shit? Or could it be turned into a course about pop culture (the diffusion of ideas like memes and information theory to popular audiences). Maybe books like "All that is solid melts into air" are lightweight - predigested pablum for arttards like me - still, its nice to get information that way, as opposed to unnecessarily dense ambiguous jargon (obfuscatory obtuse mystifications). Information can spread like heat, or diffuse into nothing - and did Marx anticipate the information society? Thats kind of interesting - where is the proletariat in relation to the intelligentsia, if information is free, but leasure is only commodity? Not saying that is the case or that there is an intelligentsia or a proletariat anymore than an id and a superego, das ich or whatever - these words have different meaning in german, I guess. Go Faust!

I am willing to take a chance and invite you to my show.

The Hudson Line
Andre Zarre Gallery
529 West 20th St NYC
April 27-May 29th.

I recognize zipthwung from the now defunct PaintersNYC. Is this where that community ended up?

It's hard to get that community spirit when the Captain has abandoned ship for Facebook...

Hi, I am an artist in Middletown, CT. I have my own gallery which I just bought which is a part of my studio and property. I build sculpture, paint with encaustics that I make, play music, but I dont cook. (Well, I try!) Anyhow, Id like to invite you to see my art and give me your honest opinion. I promise not to get mad, yell, or anything other than hopefully amuse you with my work. Ive been in NYC to lots of art shows; crafts on Columbus, Lincoln Center american crafts festival, and I used to have work at a wonderful resturant called "East of Eighth" down by 23rd. I would LOVE to get back down into the city, but Its been a few years and Im not sure who to contact anymore. Well, lets say I wanna do something different now. Like be in a gallery down there or the MOMA. Anyhow, if you would like to contact me please call me at 860-316-five,one,two,eight.
Thank you
Karen Wassmer, Artist.

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