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  #1  
Old 05-04-2008, 04:16 PM
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mehl mehl is offline
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affilitions

I have been getting more serious about my sculpture in the last 5 months. I've been wanting to turn it into something a little more serious than an interest. Gallery shows are starting to take off for me, and I don't have a problem there, and I'm actually making just enough sales now to stay afloat. But what it all comes down to is that I am completely ignorant to the art world. Are there any affiliations that we as sculptors should have both nationally (U.S.) and internationally. Should I be paying dues to some organization?

Also the most embarrassing problem I have is my lack of knowledge of other sculptors work. I know some of your sites on here and one of my favorite sculptors now is sculptor sam.

About 7 years ago I had to ask who Henry Moore was when someone asked if he was one of my influences. And it seems like I'm always having to fake it when I talk to galleries and they liken my work to another sculptor. Is there a good book or website that could help rid me of my ignorance? I used to have the same problem when my focus was ceramics, but the impact of my ignorance in that field seemed minor.

Thanks,
Jason
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2008, 08:54 PM
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Re: affilitions

Henry Moore is awesome. it took me some years of not getting his work at all, til i read a book about him & realized he was not a myth or a genre of work, but rather a person, & then i began to warm to his work & start to understand it. He certainly says some very useful stuff in the book "Henry Moore on Sculpture", well worth finding.

i can't comment on the other stuff about affiliations but do yourself a MASSIVE favour & find out what your rights are when you are signing contracts (representation vs consignment, percentages, commissions after/before costs, etc) & get stuff in writing if you are happy with the conditions. Keep a diary, keep records of your work on consignment, never just leave it to the gallery to do everything right even if you trust them. Its the Professional way & if sometime down the track things get unprofessional you have your records from day 1 & you are OK.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2008, 10:42 PM
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Re: affilitions

Wow, I just caught the spelling of my title!

As far as keeping my own books that's a good Idea. I must admit that I've never been too good at it though. But it is already getting a little confusing as to who takes what percentage. I just had a guy from one gallery come to my last opening and ask me to show at his place when the current shw has ended. Is it ethically bad to be meeting with one gallery about a piece while it's still being shown in another?

I've been asking people all of these questions, and have gotten some good answers, but I figure the more input I get, the better.

I'll check that Moore book out at the library, but I still need to be able to talk about other sculptors and their work. I hit a half price books today, but found nothing of value to me.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2008, 03:31 AM
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Re: affilitions

It just depends whether the first gallery thinks they are representing you or not. "Representing" being different from just selling some of your work. If they represent you then its a major change to move to another gallery. If they don't then go for it.

Keep writing down everything you do with galleries. Believe me, it is REALLY important to know whats happening. Just have a little book where you write things down. i learned the hard way

p.s. just get a book out the library about "sculpture". some big glossy book & it'll have all the important ones in it. after you're a bit au fait with the main dead guys who have influenced everything, you can start to have opinions & look at today's stuff with more knowledge. you can't know em all, but its best for looking half serious if you know the main ones.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:33 PM
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Re: affilitions

Mehl - There's no substitute for a good reference library, wherever you find it - public, university, college, or whatever. Ask for something like "survey of art", or "of contemporary art, or, "World, European, ...

You get the idea. Tell the reference librarian or whoever will answer questions, just what you need, and check out a couple, or read at the library if checkout is forbidden. (Reference books are expensive, so you may have to scan them in the library.) If that's the case, make a list of names that strike you and do Google research.
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2008, 08:30 AM
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Re: affilitions

I'm going to the library today. You guys have made some good suggestions. If anyone has a favorite sculptor that you think I should check out feel free to post the name here.

there is an amazing latter at the Modern in Ft Wort, TX the guy that made it is named Martin Puryear. I'm told that I may like his other stuff too, and he's supposed to have a current exhibit at the Modern with more than just his ladder. Has anyone seen it? Is it worth driving an hour each way to go see?
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2008, 10:03 AM
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Re: affilitions

For figurative marble sculptors, Bernini, 17th century italian, and Houdon, 18th century French, have some halfway decent works to their credit! (that was an under-exaggeration)

One of my favorites was the prolific but largely unknown these days, 19th century Italian Leonardo Bistolfi.

Attilio Piccirilli, whose family carved much of the great American marble sculpture of the 19th and 20th century, was also a noteworthy artist.
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2008, 08:33 AM
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Re: affilitions

Yes Puryear was just at MOMA in NYC. Very cool pieces. Go see it. The ladder was a top piece for sure. also has a huge wagon piece. Great wood joinery in most of his work.

As far as being influenced by other famous sculptors just tell the truth. "No, i don't want to copy or even be influenced by anyone else's work so i try to keep my distance to maintain a clear mind and not become overly conscious and burdened by past works of other artists.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:38 AM
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Re: affilitions

Puryear thread:

http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...hlight=puryear
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2008, 09:59 AM
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Re: affilitions

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Originally Posted by suburbanartists View Post
As far as being influenced by other famous sculptors just tell the truth. "No, i don't want to copy or even be influenced by anyone else's work so i try to keep my distance to maintain a clear mind and not become overly conscious and burdened by past works of other artists.
Sounds like a lack of trust in oneself, or an admission to having a weak mind.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2008, 12:09 PM
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Re: affilitions

You know i hoped you guys wouldn't have to see it that way. That wasn't supposed to be an excuse to not learn and or study. But many many overly studied people tend to copy, imitate, modify those that have come before them. That's not what interests this weak mind.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2008, 12:12 PM
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Re: affilitions

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Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
Sounds like a lack of trust in oneself, or an admission to having a weak mind.
Sounds to me like a strong mind willing to do things a new unattached way, one that doesn't need to be comforted by the though that its like a "......." or influenced by "........".
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2008, 12:22 PM
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Re: affilitions

My point was don't be a poser, tell the truth and explain it. Most people know right away whether your BS or not so you may as well live and die with your integrity intact.
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2008, 01:24 PM
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Re: affilitions

right now i'm just telling people that my favorite sculptor and biggest influence is erosion.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2008, 02:01 PM
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Re: affilitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbanartists View Post
Sounds to me like a strong mind willing to do things a new unattached way, one that doesn't need to be comforted by the though that its like a "......." or influenced by "........".
My point has nothing to do with choosing one's own direction. It is rather about the fear of looking at, and learning from the lessons of the past, as though one's own direction is not self-reliant enough to remain unaffected by such exposure.
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2008, 02:03 PM
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Re: affilitions

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right now i'm just telling people that my favorite sculptor and biggest influence is erosion.
That's great! If they press for more details, you can add that you apprenticed at an early age with a drop of water.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2008, 03:35 PM
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Re: affilitions

There's certainly more than one way to be an artist - Old school, New school, No school. All have their merits. As a drummer Led Zepplin's Jon Bonham did a pretty good job with no school.
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2008, 09:42 PM
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Re: affilitions

true, but bonham was still familiar with other drummers work, he just wasn't trained. i'm untraind AND i don't know enough to carry on a halfway intelligent conversation about sculpture. that's a bad combo when you're actually trying to sell some pieces. it's not that i haven't seen other peoples sculptures, it's just that i've never took the time to familiarize myself with the names.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2008, 10:16 PM
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Re: affilitions

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Originally Posted by mehl View Post
it's not that i haven't seen other peoples sculptures, it's just that i've never took the time to familiarize myself with the names.
If you remember and can discuss qualities of other sculptures that you like, you can get past the sculptor's name dilema by coughing at the same time you mention the name, like this...

" Whose sculpture has influenced me?, Well, I really like the work of James HRAUMPHHARGGHHOMMPHHH-sen, whose curvealinear forms and exquisite balance of mass and empty space bring to mind the natural formations of the four-corners region...."
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2008, 06:18 AM
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Re: affilitions

So what your saying Glenn , is basically "baffle them with bulls**t"? I believe honesty is the best policy. I too lack in the "formal" education of the history of art but people buy my pieces because it touches them , not because I am influenced or not influenced by Glenn HARUMPH-sen. Weak mind or not I enjoy what I create and the high and mighty can either buy it or walk away, I personally don't give a hoot. We all have influences whether we are aware of them or not. There aren't too many people raised in voids , but the government schools are trying to fix that!
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  #21  
Old 05-10-2008, 07:54 AM
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Re: affilitions

It really is better to be more straightforward. What if the other person then said "Sorry I didn't catch that name???..." A person's education wil always be incomplete because there's new stuff all the time. Just talk about whatever it was that you gleaned from that piece. If they ask the name, confess that you were so enamored with the work you didn't remember to look at the name. If you want to see more of that person's work you may have to learn the name though.
Sometimes life's an unlabeled buffet.
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2008, 08:38 AM
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Re: affilitions

Was I supposed to add a smiley face so my "idea" would be understood as a joke rather than serious advice? C'mon folks, lighten up!

( I thought I had set the proper tone with my "apprenticed to a drop of water" line. Maybe we need an icon for a " ba-dum boom! vaudeville drum hit .)
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2008, 03:09 PM
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Re: affilitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
Was I supposed to add a smiley face so my "idea" would be understood as a joke rather than serious advice? C'mon folks, lighten up!

( I thought I had set the proper tone with my "apprenticed to a drop of water" line. Maybe we need an icon for a " ba-dum boom! vaudeville drum hit .)
You're right, but some folks would actually do that cough thing. I vote we have a new set of icons
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:19 PM
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Re: affilitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
That's great! If they press for more details, you can add that you apprenticed at an early age with a drop of water.
excellent. what could be more authentic

Being now 40ish i did start out (at 20 or so) with the attitude that i didn't want to be influenced by other artists, and yes, for the reason you mentioned, cos i was not strong enough (i felt) that i wouldn't be dissipated & lost by seeing too much of everything. I always liked rodin & michelangelo though, they were probably my influences but i stuck with those even though most people would say that was being a bit boring or whatever. I learned how to understand steel sculpture & formalism & that was all enough to work from. I mean what can be more pure than playing between strict formalism & the best figurative old masters' work, anyway?

But now i've got more confidence in myself i have started over the past couple yrs looking at abstract work & Henry Moore etc & i feel strong enough now in my own work that it can only be good for me to expand my horizons & i can't get enough.

I started in sculpture knowing it was a life time's work, so i wasn't in a rush - but then i'm 40 now, so its time to get moving!
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  #25  
Old 05-11-2008, 07:53 AM
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Re: affilitions

Jason, many artists start their art career having done something else before, and the fact that you're trying to self-educate sets you apart from many of them. You're always bound to meet people who turn their nose at you because you don't have a Fine Arts degree, but you can make up your own mind about them

Start with a good book on sculpture and many visits to different galleries and museums. The big sculpture book (http://www.amazon.com/Sculpture-Rena...0509750&sr=1-2) is a great all-in-one reference, and you can find some books on more specific media/styles. You should probably do some reading on Henry More, Jean Arp, Brancusi, and Barbara Hepworth. They all have similar styles to yours (and mine!), and even if you don't agree, at least you'll know what people are talking about

If you're just starting out, affiliations with artists' groups like ISC and any local/state-wide/national artist groups you can find are good for getting contacts & resources and filling out your CV a bit.

As for the percentage of sales at galleries, it's usually somewhere between 40% and 60%, depending on how much the gallery is doing for you and what you feel comfortable with. There have been many "heated discussions" on this board and others on what the appropriate gallery cut is.

Working with two galleries is not unheard of, but you must keep the lines of communication open. If you simply have a one-time show at one or both of the galleries, it's not too bad. If one or both of them are representing you, make sure you talk to the first representing gallery before you enter into any agreement with the other one.

CARFAC Ontario (full disclosure: I'm on their board) has a publication called Information For Artists which covers a lot of ground. If that seems like too much for you, we also have a slimmed down version (Advisory Notes).

NAVA also has a Code of Practice guide which is phenomenal. Although it was written for the Australian art sector, much of it (like the information on proper gallery-artist relationships) is actually quite universal.
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