Building our own structures: 48 hours to the (first) finish line

platonic solids

Artists cannot afford to wait or look for someone to save them. They have to do that for themselves. I thought I was doing just that when I started applying to artist calls in January 2014, but I was not quite there. We have to defend our right to exist and to do that by applying to “opportunities” is not nearly enough. We have to go further. We have to build our own structures.

– From Back with a new idea and a call to action, The Artist’s Predicament

This passage is from an article written back in February recapitulating my effort over the past two years trying to get my work as an artist out there, and reviewing the course of this blog that was in a way the culmination of this effort. The Artist’s Predicament started when I felt I had some lessons from this venture worth sharing.

And, as I concluded in that same article, what seems to have been the greatest lesson learned is this: We artists have to build our own structures.

If we don’t like the way art is presented by the predominant channels in charge of bringing it to the public…

If we believe that rather than a commodity, art is a cultural product of high social value and as such should be presented outside the current commodity-oriented models, fit for all that is bought and sold but art…

If we believe that a portion of art lovers and aspiring patrons find the existing ways of connecting with artists too vulgar to engage in, and remain inactive in terms of supporting artists because of that..

­… then surely there is no time to waste.

We owe it to ourselves and to the part of us that is still the “dreamer” we started out as, having so far managed to resist to the cynicism threatening to take over even this last citadel of art, to defend this dream and create space for it in the real world.

My idea was to build an online patronage platform where artists and patrons would be able to connect in a way that is sustainable and dignified for the artist and respectful of the art lover’s appreciation of art and sense of taste.

The Be My Medici platform is now in the first stages of becoming a reality thanks also to artists’ enthusiasm and support.

After a fruitful period of connecting with artists and art lovers, in which a great deal of useful feedback was gained through our Artist and Patron Surveys, but also through interesting conversations with friends and colleagues, the first critical phase of this project is almost complete: The Be My Medici Open Call to artists is soon coming to a close. The number of submissions we have received from artists all over the world already allows us to call the call a success. We want to thank the artists who placed their trust in this idea by applying.

And with that, the Be My Medici project advances triumphantly to its next phase: The Open Call to Curators.

To artists who haven’t applied, there are still 48 hours to go before our Open Call to artists closes (deadline is May 15 at midnight EST).

To those who have already applied, please consider making the best of this 48-hour window by spreading the word to other artists in your circle: You will be giving them the chance to participate in something that could shake up the art scene’s stagnant waters.

Featured image: Illustration from the book “Perspective of the Regular Solids” (Perspectiva Corporum Regularium),  Wenzel Jamnitzer, 1568 (via BibliOdyssey)

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