You know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted when I see this screen:
My personal life has kicked up a tick and so I’ve been busy. But I also have this weird block.
When you work full-time in a museum, of course it limits the amount of time you can spend going to other museums, galleries, exhibitions, lectures, et cetera. But still, I have been doing all those things. I’d say I’ve been pretty active in that regard, as much as is possible. But I never think to write about these things, the way I do when I’m in New York. What’s different? No, it’s not that when I’m in New York I’m on vacation, and have more free time (though maybe it’s those things a little bit).
I’m in Maine. And the Maine art scene, though active, is quite regionally focused. Maine artists are Maine artists. The nationally-recognized artists we love and love to show (from Wyeth, Homer, Hopper and Wegman, to Katherine Bradford and Lois Dodd) all come to Maine.
This presents a challenge to me, as I want this blog to address both a general audience, and a more mainstream contemporary (read: New York-based) art world. I fear being seen as provincial, though I’m guessing it’s more my own prejudices (read: snobbery) holding me back, than the ones I perceive in my audience.
There is also a more justified fear: the Maine art world is SMALL. There is the very real possibility that, in being as honestly critical as I would like to be, I could offend someone I run into at every event, and could need to work with. I know that if I was really involved in the New York art scene, that would still be the case. I just imagine New York artsters (yeah, I just made that up – deal with it) to have thicker skins; perhaps because I imagine them criticizing each other, publicly and privately, all the time. Maine art criticism tends to be pretty “Ra! Ra!” It also seems to be judged on a different standard than the mainstream art world; it’s just generally a more conservative market (in terms of media, content, etc.).
I suppose this rant is my way of alerting you, my readers, and myself, to the fact that I will attempt to write more about what I’m seeing and doing here. Time and energy for writing is still a factor; but another block is that my posts have tended towards the fully formed exhibition review. I need to kick myself into a more casual, brief, observational/informative style.
I also hesitate to write about what’s going on at my own museum, for fear that it would seem promotional or that I might reveal something I’m not supposed to. But, it is also high time I start to share some of my own curatorial work, now that I’m actually getting to do some! More on that later…