What artists talk about

Do artists sit around talking about the deeper meaning of their work?  Do they  discuss “exploring the dark interiority of a romantic practice in a well-lit visual field” (which I once saw on the wall at the Museum of Modern Art)? Are they interested in epistemology?


Get a bunch of artists together and they will either talk about methods and materials, or marketing.  All that sitting around late at night, smoking Gauloise, drinking absinthe and talking philosophy, is for the movies.

Brooks Jensen demonstrating one of his folios.

Tonight, I went to a lecture in Berkeley given by Brooks Jensen, the editor/publisher/writer/owner/office boy of Lenswork Magazine, held at The Lightroom, a high-end photo printer.  Lenswork is unique in that it is a magazine actually devoted to fine art photography–the other photo mags are largely centered on equipment and methods, not on the result.  Lenswork only features the art–which may explain why it has no advertising.

Brooks wasn’t talking about art or philosophy, he was showing a way he had developed to show/market prints that makes them more interesting and accessible.  He creates “Folios”, sets of 8 or 10 or so prints, 8 x 10 or 5 x 7, that he sells as a unit for under $200, well below the usual price for art photography.

Besides being a marketing item, his folios allow him to explore a subject in some depth and share it all with the purchaser.  It’s an interesting and useful concept for the fine art photographer.

About the gibberish about the art that you see on museum walls, it isn’t necessary to have an MFA in art criticism to write it well.  You can simply got to The Arty Bollocks generator and click the button to get something like this:

My work explores the relationship between the body and life as perfomance.

With influences as diverse as Munch and Andy Warhol, new combinations are created from both traditional and modern textures.

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of the human condition. What starts out as vision soon becomes corrupted into a dialectic of greed, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the inevitability of a new beginning.

As shifting impressions become frozen through diligent and critical practice, the viewer is left with an insight into the possibilities of our era.

See?  I just saved you $50,000 on graduate school.  Now you too can be an artist, or at least talk the talk.



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