Art etiquette: stop telling artists your kid could do that
In light of the fact that exposure is still not a widely accepted currency, Noelle Faulkner talks to several artists, ahead of Sydney Contemporary, on how best to make their day
Next time you find yourself at an opening, I challenge you to ask the artist(s) showing what the most offensive things anyone has ever said to them about their work might be. Chances are they will have an astounding amount of doozies to choose from. If creatives were paid an avocado for every ignorant comment received, ye olde "starving artist" trope would be based on sarcasm and we'd all live in castles.
While most of the time, there's no offence intended, some of the comments and questions people will blurt out to creatives can be incredibly offensive, not to mention oblivious - all-time classics include asking a female musician "what's it like to be a female musician", a writer "so what's your REAL job" or asking a photographer "so why don't you have more Instagram followers, then?"
In light of the numerous art-related events taking place in Sydney this month, namely the huge Sydney Contemporary and Spring 1883 art fairs, I thought I'd ask a handful of artists some thoughtful advice on the simple art of
thinking before you speak social etiquette. So next time you're seated next to an artist at a dinner party, trying to make conversation less awkward at an opening, sharing personal space with someone who bleeds for their work or curious about commissioning an artist to make you something, think twice about the art and the artist's worth. Here's how to not be That Guy.
Sydney Contemporary, September 7-10 Carriageworks, Sydney
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