[“Creativity With Purpose”: One of my recent canvases etc.]
I get asked all the time: “Why don’t you show in art galleries?”
And I always answer the same: “Because my work doesn’t belong in art galleries, it belongs in office cubicles.”
Even if you go back to the 1990’s, back when I was starting out, it was the same story. I always liked making art SPECIFICALLY for the workplace. I always liked making work that pushed that aspect of human existence further in the right direction.
After family, the time you spend in your place of work is the most important arena of your existence. That is where you go to find out, over time, who your true self really is.
And your true self needs art around it, your true self needs constant reminding that your true self ACTUALLY exists.
Your true self needs TOTEMS around that INSPIRE it on a daily basis.
That’s what I hope the cartoons help articulate, help bring to the surface. Unlike most of the knucklehead art you see around the gallery scene…
Besides, it’s a niche most other artists don’t really think about- they’re too busy trying to conquer other worlds. Which is fine, even if those other worlds are already too crowded; already SATURATED with the froth of other knuckleheads.
“My work doesn’t belong in art galleries, it belongs in office cubicles.”
It’s not a bad life, I suppose…
Ohh crap, no cubicle, no grenade.
Having joined the ranks; here’s to creating for the smallest reasonable niche possible! Not bad, w00t
Hey SL Clark,
I ADORE small niches- the big ones are TOO full of OTHER people’s neuroses…
My late father- and his late father before him- taught me well… that TRUE FREEDOM is most easily found in small places.
Godspeed and Godbless.
No fancy schmancy art gallery for you ?
haha, I understand. I believe your art has more impact in work spaces anyways. In galleries, it’s all about the event – you go in and you go out.
But in your work space, the message can have enough power to permeate your work – dare I say – inspire to deliver outstanding work !
I like the fact that you have chosen not only an audience but have chosen their venue as well.
We find our answer and seek our answer like the day and the night. It is daily. It is routine. Yet most people seek the big payoff like some kind of binge eater.
Keep at it. Day after day.
Yep. The “Big Payoff” is just an illusion.
I prefer the quiet serenity of day-to-day… Far more tangible (and likely to happen) IMHO.
Have you thought about setting up a gallery as a cubicle farm, providing free internet so people come and work in them, and displaying your art in an “office” context?
BTW – realised the other day I’m subscribed to your RSS, email, twitter and Instagram feeds… am I missing any 😉
Great post, I’m attempting to establish my own niche after ditching the corporate seen for good (hopefully).
When you first started did you have doubts your could sustain it? How did you overcome them? What kept you going?
Yep, I had doubts a’plenty. But I reckoned I wouldn’t die, and, as my grandfather taught me well… there’s a direct connection between frugality and freedom.
A man with expensive tastes is never free….
So true about frugality and freedom. One shouldn’t be owned by one’s possessions.
“My work doesn’t belong in art galleries, it belongs in cubicles”
When an art gallery director see that statement, the director thinks, “Yes. This man knows his audience.”
Then she wishes, “God, only if all the knuckleheads artists knew their audiences as well as Hugh.”
Hey Charlie Grosso,
I always went by the idea that it is not the gallery’s job to create excitement, but to AMPLIFY the excitement that is already there.
A. It takes the pressure off the gallery and B. It makes the gallery’s role MUCH easier to define and measure.
It is common knowledge among artists- the little secret that most in the scene hate talking about- that the gallery system simply does not work for most artists.
That being said, when a gallery does work (15% of the time, say), it works very well…
But it a craps shoot, even in the upper echelons of the system.
Deeply resonate and thought provoking.
Your recent “Creativity With Purpose” is the obvious proof that you have canvases that belong to the art gallery.
Wrong. My canvases belong to the selfish need to keep myself amused 😉
PS It always amused me how artists LOVE to congratulate themselves for defying convention… EXCEPT for the convention of them getting paid. Then they get all huffy, as if some sense of blue-collar righteousness has just been violated.
After all, what is more conventional, than a blue collar worker wanting to get paid…?
[…] why I love this post from Hugh MacLeod over at the gaping void who says “My work doesn’t belong in art galleries, it belongs in cubicles.” But, but, but, he’s an artist? Why doesn’t he want to be in art galleries? […]
Maybe the problem is this postmodern architecture of modern galleries ? Those big white spaces… They are only suited for enormous paintings or installations. Imagine a gallery like a living room, or an ancient “art chamber”, full off amazing little objects…
Even REALLY BAD ART looks good if it’s (A) hung in a white cube gallery and (B) very large.
What an excellent and bold point. It makes me wonder how much art really does belong in art galleries. Totems of the office space; beautiful and penetrating, indeed.
Yep, “Totem” is a very interesting and powerful word. Not used often enough, IMHO….
In cubicles and on t-shirts. At least some of your work needs to be on t-shirts so I can wear it around 🙂
Yes! Finally someone writes about office cubicle walls.