Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Sutdio Visit & Studio Activity

Lately it seems that the walls to peoples' art studios have been metaphorically dissolving. The studio - the haven for creating, which can typically be counted-on for being a source of focus and undisturbed muse for artists to work out their projects and problems, is to a degree, going public. I've noticed people are gaining access to trace evidence of how artists are at, and get to work, thanks to our technology. Technology that gives us a sense of being pretty close to the center of what we call the artist's studio.

Artists should be able to have it both ways.

Of particular note is Isabel Manalo's web magazine The Studio Visit, and its rapid growth. In a few short years it morphed from Isabel's D.C. based side-line thing into an established internet artist studio database, whose coverage, both local and nation-wide, seems to be full-throttle and viral.

D.C. photographers Robert Heimplaetzer and Darren Santos had each stopped by a few times during the latter half of 2010 to visit my current studio and take pictures. When each were here we got along as mates, and I worked on paintings while the camera constantly clicked away. Here are some of the resulting shots:

all photos above by Robert Heimplaetzer

About a year ago, The Studio Visit paid me a visit. Isabel came to my then-current space, at a time when I was working on about seven oil paintings on canvas, all at once. Most of them were newly begun and about 30% complete. I haven't even finished them all to this day. That was an ugly time. The resulting page had lots of photos of what those unfinished canvases looked like, and my Color-Aid thumbs, plus a video interview of me about my work. Looking at the posts of other artist visits, I find The Studio Visit's standard to be very consistent, yet the nature of the coverage to be quite incidental - which is a good thing.

What can I say for artist-studio access (open studio events, photos, videos, etc.)? They display personality of the artist(s) working in them that's connected, yet unattached to the objectivity of the stuff that comes out. In journals like Art in America, established art galleries sometimes use photos of an artist studio (sometimes with, sometimes without the artist's presence) for advertising their exhibits of the work that was made in it. The appearances of the studio and the artist at work in it hook interest for sure. Perhaps the studio will remain a charming, personal entity. Yet I suppose it could turn into a 'product' someday.