Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Killing the Comment

Don't let the comments get you down.

An acquaintance of mine, Comment, actually said to me, "No gallery has ever expressed any interest in you." This dampened my eyes as well as my spirit because, generally, Comment is quite supportive. It made me feel like never approaching another gallery ever again. Worse than that, for a while I did not even feel like painting.

So that I wouldn't forget those intentionally discouraging words, I hand-printed them on a paper and displayed them on my bulletin board. I frequently do that with remarks that hurt or baffle me. That way the comment cannot be denied. Also, I can readily recall it and analyze it for truth and accuracy. Usually, this way I can kill the comment.

My analysis of the statement, "No gallery has ever expressed any interest in you": Presently I am being considered for two prestigious and well known galleries for emerging artists -- one in New York and one in Connecticut. The one in New York has my digital portfolio. I guess there is a case for their not expressing any interest in me in that I have not heard from them yet. Upon submission, though, they told me that it would take a long time to get back to me because they get many submissions and have to review them all. On the other hand, you could say that they have not rejected me either and for the sake of argument that could be construed as interest.

The assistant curator of the Connecticut gallery emailed me after receiving my portfolio to let me know that their gallery schedule is filled up for this year, but said he will contact me with dates for a showing of my work for next year. Additionally, he provided me with an insightful critique of my work, let me know which of my paintings he preferred and suggested that I take my current work in that direction. I thought that showed a great deal of interest. Because his input strengthens my work, and so he will remember me, as I complete new paintings, I email the images to him. Comment referred to my keeping in touch like this as pestering the assistant curator.

Over the weekend, I delivered paintings to a local show. Despite the discussion that occurred initially regarding raw edges on my paintings, I thought my work was enthusiastically accepted. The show chair came over while I was registering. She said she thought the pieces were quite accomplished and that she agreed with my decision in not framing them. This I believe showed interest and was very encouraging.

A high-end event planner and florist in New York has given me his prominent storefront window to use as my own personal gallery because he likes my paintings and believes they will enhance his shop. This shows interest also.

My final comment on Comment's comment?...No comment, other than... back to work for me and...

I killed the comment.


  1. What Comment uttered, said more about himself/herself than it did about you. k

  2. Thanks, I know that but I still have to go through my analytical dance before I can be certain. Also violent drawing helps.