Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 9:40AM
It's summertime, which means that art festival season is underway. I can tell that I'm getting older. My body now takes a couple of days to recover after each weekend. One recent show in Chicago provided back to back eighteen hour days of low sales. Drive in on Friday evening. Get up at 5 a.m. to set up in the cold fog. Stand in the chill all day until the show closes at 10 p.m. Get a few hours of sleep and repeat. Tear down the next day at 9 p.m. and arrive back home in the middle of the night. It would have been alright if I had more sales. Sales have a way of warding off the chill and adding energy. Funny how that works. Is there a way to separate money from the appreciation of the experience? After a weekend like that, you spend a few days questioning. Why am I making pictures? Who is it for? What's the point? I really should find an easier way to make money, like being a waiter.
Then there are the weekends where collectors show me pictures of my photographs hanging in their homes. Or when I get email from a framer complimenting a piece that their customer brought in. I get to be outside on breezy summer days spending hours talking to people about my work. That is really quite alright.
And, I get to have conversations like this. A stranger walks into my booth, looks at my work for 5 seconds and...
Stranger: I'm looking at your work because last weekend I was looking at work by this oriental artist. He had this picture of a bridge with people on it. I was fascinated because it seemed like he would have to be standing in the water to get that picture. I asked him, how were you standing in the water? He said no, there was a piece of land jutting out across from the bridge. I was standing on that land.
Me: I stand in the water for all my pictures.
Stranger: Oh. (walks away)