Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coming Soon: Artist Interviews

In my interests to maintain and strengthen the regional artistic discussion, I am introducing a new element to my blog: ArtWord. ArtWord will be a regular (weekly or monthly) feature inviting artists to discuss their work. Rather than the interviews being about the artists as seen too much here in Cincinnati, my hope is to provide a space for artists to discuss the direction and goals of their work.

Ideally, artists will find this blog as a space not for mere promotion of their art, but will welcome and gain artistic critiques.


Artgirl said...

Kathy: Maybe you can clear something up for me. In an earlier post you mentioned how odd you felt it was that people knew the artist in a show. You said your only concern was the art - not the artist.

Now, in an about face, you are going to begin interviewing artists. Then you, too, will know them and will be operating in the same manner as the media you criticize.

I find it hard to believe that you would be inclined to say something negative about an artist you have interviewed here. If you warm up to someone during the interview, that may color your criticism - and vice versa. Why not stay above all that?

Once you post a real review - which are admittedly scarce here - artists certainly have the opportunity to explain their work via the comment option. This is a sell-out.

Me said...

Artgirl, thanks for your comments.

I'm not sure what I am doing is an about face.

Admittedly, this will be my first attempt at this, but perhaps explaining a bit about my approach will help.

First, the artists I will interview are only those whose work I am interested in knowing more about. If they agree to the interview, they must first submit a current Artist Statement as well as a link to their work.

My questions come from these two items. For instance, I may repeat what they claim in their statement, then ask them to develop that idea or point it out specifically. In other words my questions will draw directly from the artist's work.

The notion of "warming up to an artist" I think is a false one. Again, my interest in interviewing an artist rests on my interest in her or his work...not the artist. In other words, I don't approach an artist unless I am already interested in the work.

Also, I submit my questions to them, I don't have face to face interviews. You see, it is always about the work, not the person. This, I think is more inviting to the artist anyway. Most I've spoken with, like to talk about their work making it easy to keep the interview focused there.

You are probably right though about my saying anything negative about an artist I interview. Chances are, I will not. But that's because I begin with a sincere interest in the work. In fact, from the begging of my blog, I've written only about works that intrigue me. If the work is not good, why bother review it or interviewing the artist, right?

And you are right again that there are fewer artist reviews here. But this is not to say there has been no discussion. Few artists use the comment section, but every artist I've mentioned in the blog has contacted me to talk more about their work. In fact, the idea of the artist interview comes from those discussions really. I hope I can convince artists who I've reviewed to allow me to interview them for this series.

We'll see how it goes. I think my methodology is sound and sincere and I hope the response will be too.

Thanks again.

Sarah said...

Kathy - This is an intriguing venture and I will definitely be checking for updates regularly.

Personally, it makes sense to me to begin with artists you have already interviewed and going from there. I agree that your level of "knowing" them will be primarily focused on their work - which is certainly what I imagine your readers are most interested in, themselves.

While I can understand why Artgirl raised some of her concerns, I completely disagree that this is some sort of sellout.

How could the public and artworld NOT be interested in coming to a greater understanding of the work?

It seems to me that such interviews would have greater potential of stimulating dialogue than simple reviews about them - reviews which, in all respect, may be seem to be missing the mark..either due to a misinterpretation by the reviewer or misrepresentation on behalf of the artist.

Regardless, I am decidedly looking forward to the interviews. Thank you.