Four artists: Aspirations (2009)

R.J. Preece asked four artists to share their thoughts about marketing/media relations—anonymously.

Here’s what the artists had to say:


Secret Artist #1: “Being an artist kinda sucks—before you get to a certain level.

The work is one thing and that’s the most important.

But on top of that, you’ve got to be your own businessman.

You’ve got to be your own PR man.”



Secret Artist #2: “I finally got into a major museum’s group show, and I thought that I had ‘arrived’...

But then, it ended up being a curator contextualising me in their context.

It was huge group show—with so many people. It’s impossible to get noticed by the media in this way—unless you are the chosen one

The show padded my CV. But I can’t decide if it was better than nothing! [Laughs].

[Pause]

It was not a breakthrough. It was not a breakthrough at all.”


Secret Artist #3: It’s very frustrating with many of these kinds of projects. PR is always the last thing in the budget. Further up is the catalogue.

Yes, "let’s make a catalogue, 1000 copies. We’ll put in some curatorial writings, and we’ll sell them."

And, of course, the 1000 copies are never sold. The catalogues sit on the shelf collecting dust.

And the organisers wait for everyone to come—to them."


Secret Artist #4: "I can’t explain how I got all of those shows and all of those articles. What I can say is that I want to concentrate on making work—that’s the most important thing.

I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘media unready’ as you describe me. It’s just that I know what my priority is.

It’s the media that should be ready to deal with it. Their job is to do media, isn’t it?

It’s the artist’s job to make art. If an artist makes good work, people will find them. They need to find them.

They need to make money from artists. The magazine needs to find them for their purposes.

[Pause.]

Yes, that’s right. That’s how it works."