Malcolm, Elle, Sebastian and I were discussing this very blog (among other things) over lunch last Monday and getting a feel for collecting the widest possible audience for my show. Malcolm Johnstone (Executive Director of West Chester BID) summed up our delightful working lunch conversation with the word “reach”.
Concepts like publicity, marketing, public relations, spin were invented and exploited as business jargon for selling the industrial revolution at the beginning of the 20th century. Beyond that it blossomed into the quintessential American art form starting with abstract expressionism after WWII up to the master Andy Warhol and Pop Art in the sixties. But that’s not what Malcolm meant by “reach” and I realized for the first time that communication is not just something that happens at a particular moment, in a particular conversation, to have a particular effect – but an accumulation of experiences over time.
This realization is encapsulated by the internet, and I was just beginning to understand. This is going to be fun, interesting and (most extraordinarily to me) my work and my agenda is adapting before my very eyes! The internet is a new world to BE in so we are BECOMING something new. My lifelong study of art and art history (sometimes very old art and art history) has always nourished my work. In the last few years so have some artist friends who also share this fascination of being and becoming with me; artists like the photographer Jim Lawson and the painters David Oleski and Jasmine Alleger. People reach out to me and I reach out to them. It’s what art is all about. It’s what life is all about.
I step in the studio each morning reaching out to Humphry Marshall and after two centuries he’s reaching towards me. It’s not just space – its time. On November 8th 2016 at the Chester County Historical Society Humphry and I will reveal our collaboration with each other and our collaboration with the world. Malcolm will be there, and Elle and Oleski, Jasmine, and so many others.