Recently, I read an online comment about one of my essays, "12 Things The Art World Needs To Change."
Interestingly, the individual said they found what I stated "annoying" and felt that I was writing about a stereotype of the art world rather than the actual art world.
Rather than get into a bitchfest with a stranger online, which I would never do, I've decided to address that comment here. Okay, let's break it down.
First off, no one and I mean NO ONE, wants to perpetuate stereotypes about anything at all LESS than I do. It's SO easy to perpetuate stereotypes because when they're not extremely damaging (they're always damaging) to the people being stereotyped, they're often fun and entertaining. Stereotypes are easy "go to" things that even the victims themselves capitalize on for the purpose of entertainment and profit which I find deplorable. Enough said on that for now.
Two, I find it very interesting that the person who found my article "annoying" was annoyed by the comments rather than the actual situations that I described. I felt sad when I read this individual's comments because it actually justified the whole premise of the piece that I wrote with great care. When you see something wrong, shouldn't you speak out about it with the hope that people can potentially rally and bring about change?
I am a journalist and I've found that people these days are more upset by the reporting of the news than they are about the actual news itself. This is unacceptable. Life is not a Disney film. We live in the REAL world, not the REEL world. Crap happens and the point of reporting it is to wake us ALL up so that we can actually DO SOMETHING about it rather than sticking our heads in the sand and anesthetizing ourselves with - whatever - in an attempt to avoid reality.
Now you've got me started.
The person who wrote that comment was obviously an art world figure who I'm sure is a perfectly lovely person. However, that person totally missed the boat. That individual was describing their own personal reality. When I write, I express my own personal reality as well. However, I often communicate with others including artists, curators, art dealers and regular 'ole people, BEFORE I write articles like the one for which the commenter responded. In other words, I do the research.
I LOVE writing about the art world because it's really a microcosm of the larger world and it has everything: money, power, love, sex, crime, generosity, peace, zen, greed, snobbery, you name it.
I take a three-pronged approach when it comes to writing about contemporary art. I write about art in MY world, I write about the ART world and I also write about art and how it functions in the WORLD at large. And guess what? I find it all ... delicious. And yes, I write TRUTH. If anything, I might tone things down slightly to make it more palatable for the faint of heart.
In closing, let me say that if you don't like what I write, you need to sign off NOW … because you're really not going to like what I have yet to write. You have re-energized me to tell it like it is and pull no punches.
I am a writer, not the customer service department.
Having said that, I certainly hope that people are informed, entertained and enlightened by my writing, but guess what? If you don't like the report you get, you DO have choices: you can hit delete and ignore what you've heard OR you can decide to act on what you've heard in some healthy way and get on with it.
I am not here to always paint a rosy picture for you. If you want that, you can find plenty of Disney films on Netflix.