Thoughts on Richard Prince and the State of Appropriation Today

Richard Prince was in some hot water for taking a bunch of Instagram pics, adding comments, then presenting it as his own work and selling it for insane sums of money.

But is he wrong? Or his the message his work communicates saying something important about the times we are living in?

Interview with ZeeBigBang Blog.

A few weeks ago I sat down with Maria de Cardenas at Navillus Gallery to talk about my recent show, “Urban/Landscapes”

The recorder was a fair distance away, the room was had some echos, so you’ll have to forgive the odd transcription error, but here is the interview:

http://blog.zeebigbang.com/post/79970824867/kyle-clements-its-a-challenge-of-constant

Apophenia

Apophenia is one of my favourite bugs in the human mind.

It describes the way we will so eagerly find patterns or connections in random noise.

Every day, countless random things happen, and a few of them, by chance, repate to other things, and our brain will tell us, “Oh, this is interesting! maybe it’s a sign? maybe it means something? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

No! Of course not. Of the billion things that happen, you are only paying attention to the few that mean something.

Getting dealt a 10 of clubs, king of diamonds, 8 of clubs, 7 of hearts, ace of hearts is just as unlikely as getting dealt a royal flush, but it doesn’t mean anything, so we ignore it.

Sometimes, you don’t have all the information, and you think you see something, but when you go back and get a clearer picture, you realize that you were just seeing things wrongly the first time around; it’s nothing.

Even though I understand what’s going on, I still feel it, and get excited by apophenia.

I had quite the strong case of it the other day; I was sitting in a fancy lobby, waiting to negotiate a new gallery contract.

I was thinking about how well my last show went; how big the turnout was, and how cool it was that Claire Danes, the actress, popped in to the gallery for a few seconds during the opening. My first celebrity spotting at an art show!

As I’m sitting in that lobby, waiting for the gallery owner to come in, I look at the magazine on the coffee table.

Who’s on the cover?
Claire Danes!

“It must be a sign!” -nope, no, it’s just apophenia.

I still signed with the gallery, though, you know…just in case…

Requests to Work for Free

This is something that happens far too often for creative professionals.

You get a message in your inbox from a big name, multi-million dollar company working on a high-profile job, and they would like you to work for them.
Only the budget is very small, so they won’t be able to pay you for it.

I get roughly one of these every week. I was fooled once. Then for a while I would reply with my working rates, “if you want x, pay me y”, and I’d get a sob story about how tight things are financially in these “hard times” and bla bla bla, or I’d never hear back from them at all. Lately, I haven’t even bothered to reply, I just mark it as spam and go on with my day.

Earlier today I came across this post by Juan Luis Garcia who had been offered to design the posters for Spike Lee’s version of the South Korean classic revenge movie, Old Boy. Not only did this company refuse to pay for the design work, they even threatened legal action against the artist who they refused to pay. There is no sense in me typing out a recap of the story, you should go read the original source instead.

This story really struck a nerve with me because it coincided with a rush of these crap offers in my own inbox, and I am tired of dealing with this bullshit from these shit bag companies.

So let me make a clear warning here and now: If you send me messages requesting that I work for free, you are consenting to having that message, complete will full personally-identifying information published for the world to see.

I’m also going to be getting in touch with several of my artist and designer friends, and see about working together on compiling a list of shit bag companies and agencies who abuse creative professionals.

What’s that? “It will be good exposure for me”? Well right now I would like to expose my middle finger in your general direction.

Site 3 Mural: Part 1

I am currently working on my first mural project, which as of this writing, is about 2/3rds done.

I am not playing the role of artist, however, that is Daeve Fellows‘ role. For this mural, I am one of the two project leads – so fundraising, event planning, materials management, scheduling, etc. Instead of painting, I get to do all the fun logistical drudgery work. Yay!

The City of Toronto has this anti-graffiti program going on, where if they find graffiti on your building, you are given given some sort of notice with date informing you of the date that the graffiti must be removed by. At this point, you have three options:
1. Paint over the graffiti in a neutral colour before the date listed on the ticket.
2. Paint a mural over the graffiti with a mural before the date listed on the ticket.
3. Do nothing, and sometime after the date has passed, workers from the city of Toronto will paint over the graffiti, then bill you for it.

Since Site 3 Colaboratory has done a lot of really awesome stuff over the past few years, and has started earning a higher profile in this city as a source for awesome stuff, the members of the shop decided that our building deserved better visibility in the community, so we opted for option 2 – let’s paint a mural!

As one of the few formally-trained artists at the shop – and the only one to major in painting, I kind of fell into the roll of co-lead for the project. (I only wanted to be a consultant!)

Continue reading Site 3 Mural: Part 1

I created a Subreddit for artists who want to gather and “Talk Shop”

ArtistMaterials is a subreddit I created earlier tonight.

Upon graduation from art school, I found it difficult to ‘talk shop’ with other working artists, as the internet is filled with many amateur art hobbyists on one end, and a bunch of obscurantist critical theorists on the other, and nothing in between.

I want a place where artists can gather to discuss the properties of cadmium vs quinacridone pigments, argue over the merits of 2 piece vs 3 piece moulds, discuss cobalt drier to oil ratios, talk about sand casting aluminum at home, list expected oil drying time per colour, exchange tips on using the mische technique, or work together to solve the mystery of how something was made.

So, if you are a redditor, head on over! And if you are a regular reader here, don’t worry, Most of the content posted there will come from either right here, or my YouTube channel.

Concrete and Glass Opens March 9th

Show Invitation for "Concrete and Glass" by Kyle Clements at Moore Gallery

My new show, “Concrete and Glass” Opens Saturday, March 9th at Moore Gallery in Toronto.

Moore Gallery is located on the 4th floor of 80 Spadina, just North of King Street.

What I’ve Been Working On Lately:

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In case I haven’t mentioned it earlier, I have a show coming up in March. I’m working on the paintings, but I’m no good at thinking up show titles. Any suggestions?

Kyle Paints 2013: Part 2 – The Easy Painting That Kicked my Ass

I thought this would be an easy one.
I was wrong.

What appeared to be a simple, minimal easy painting I could fart out in a hurry turned out to be the biggest struggle I’ve had with a painting in a long time.