6/25/09

I sat in a $59,000 chair


Yesterday I had to go to the gallery and noticed that Johnny Swing's work was there. If you haven't seen his work go take a look. It's beautiful and nearly unbelievable that anyone could put together something so seamlessly, especially out of jars and coins. They had two of his jar chairs and the above coin chair. Google him under images and feast upon an astonishing array of functional art made from coins. Both chairs were comfortable, slick, cool and made me feel like a caveman in regards to my own work.

Of course I had to compare myself. I think about that woodstack table I finished last week, and how I emailed a photo of it to the gallery AS IF. It's hard not to beat myself up, I love my table I made but I know it will never show in that gallery. Guess I should be glad they even take my wall art pieces. I don't know where my furniture belongs. I kind of hate to think it would go into some crafty furniture shop. I feel compelled to keep making tables and given the kind of artist I am, given my tools and space and ability, I'm probably never going to be swinging in the same circle as johnny. His work is museum quality. He is a craftsman to the nth degree. I still struggle to cut a straight line, forget about welding hundreds of small things together to form a perfectly curved chair. To quote Samuel Johnson, Comparisons are odious. Enjoy what we have....who we are. What we do. Otherwise swim in the sea of misery.

10 comments:

LucyLuxx said...

Seriously.......you have GOT to stop being so negative about your BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK!!! Did you completely ignore what you wrote? " It's hard not to beat myself up, I love my table I made but I know it will never show in that gallery. Guess I should be glad they even take my wall art pieces."
THEY TAKE YOUR ART PIECES!!!!!!!!!
I mean that's wonderful! Many artists couldn't even hang a hat in a gallery like that and you are displaying your work alongside of Johnny Swing's $59,000 chair - I'd say you are doing very well!
I'll stop lecturing now LOL. But seriously - is someone going to buy that chair then have friends over for coffee and say like "Please sit down in my Johnny Swing chair and make yourself at home. Oh don't worry about your bracelet scratching the arm of it - it's meant to be used." LMAO!!!
Your furniture is equally as beautiful as his and FUNCTIONAL which is what I would want in furniture. Which is what I think the average person wants in furniture. That makes it no less art IMO.

self taught artist said...

rough week...
plus i feel like i'm stuck making the same round photo pieces for show. yes being in a gallery is great but i'm the low man on the totem pole these days and haven't sold jack in ages. i could be out of there * like that.

Nellie's Needles said...

I went to JS's site ... and talk about tables. I love his work table. Great big wheels for easy movement and a built in bar under the top edge to hang tools. I wish that table for you.

Talking more about tables ... you just keep right on making them. You know from the clock series experience what can come from making more ... and more ... and more. If they're aesthetically pleasing and functional, they'll find homes.

self taught artist said...

thanks for the boost nellie i will keep on keeping on

sarala said...

It is funny because when I first saw the header I read it as a $5900 chair. Then I thought it read $59.00 chair. It was like my brain couldn't process the actual price!
Honestly I think I'd rather own the bookcases you made. But that's just me. And as someone else pointed out you are in the same gallery as that chair. That means you are producing real art. Of course, it would be cooler to sell something for 59K but we all know that depends as much on serendipity as it does hard work and talent.
I do sure hope you manage to sell some stuff, though. That has to be hard to deal with!

self taught artist said...

thanks shara...i hope so too. its a soul killer when nothing sells at all. i might have to steal that chair and disassemble it!

Kim Hambric said...

I agree with the others. YOU are in that same gallery. You are a creative person who is actively creating. How long did that chair take him to make? Did he make the entire thing himself? Has he sold other such items? Halfway through each of his pieces, does he think about how long it will take before it is done? Is every working moment a pleasure for him? Perhaps all of these questions have positive answers. If so, he is most definitely a rare creature. Well-deserving of our respect.

Don't we want people like this out in the world? Don't we want to know that there are people more talented than us in some way? Do we really want to be at the top of the heap? Jeez, think of that pressure. There's pros and cons to everything.

Thanks for showing us his work. It is incredible. Thanks for showing us your work. It is beautiful, tactile and tangible.

self taught artist said...

thanks kim you always provoke me in good ways :)

Angela Recada said...

I LOVE your table, P! It's earthy and real and approachable and functional. While these chairs are amazing, they seem cold and sterile to me; whereas your art always exudes genuine warmth, despite the fact that you also use metal in many of your pieces.

Please stop beating yourself up and doubting yourself and your abilities. I know it must be damn frustrating for you, but your art is amazing and special. It takes time to find the right fit when you are unique.

You're doing all the right things. (I know, easy for me to say. What do I know, right?) Keep letting people know you're there, show them what you have created, if they don't have the means or imagination to help you, so be it. The more people who know about you, the more likely you are to find people who will appreciate you and your amazing talents.

P.S. ":)" right back atcha!

San said...

Take Samuel Johnson's advice to heart. At least that little bit. Otherwise I don't really care for the man. Eighteenth century thinking gives me the willies. That century could not produce a Johnny Swing or a Paula Slide.