art SEEN COLUMN BY SUZANNE SCHULTZ
Nobody reads anymore because everyone is a writer, a pearl dropped on me that I can't stop pondering. We are living in a world where self expression is at an all time high. Blogging, posting tweeting etc. We all vhave something to say and now the forum in which to say it.
Never in history have we had so many people painting professionally, mill buildings that a century ago housed industry are now full of artists.
What is art exactly? Marshall McCluhan philosopher of media theory said "art is whatever you can get away with." So what do we want to say and what do we want to get away with, and how do we deal with the struggles we have as artists in the new world we live in.
Art Salons have been replaced with first Fridays and the artist patron relationship is almost non existent for most artists. It is a relationship that is not only necessary for the artist but benefits the patron in so many ways
and could be a relationship that lasts for decades. The word Patron could easily be replaced as investor for the young and hip collectors but I'm thinking the term patron has more value.
So, as artists how do we get our voices heard above the rest?
I will address the struggles, triumphs, and share ideas in future columns.
Suzanne Schultz is founder/CEO of Canvas Fine arts in Boston, and co-host of BNNS ITS ALL ABOUT ARTS, firstname.lastname@example.org
GALLERY 601 "Guajeros: A document of Central American Trash Pickers" - A new exhibition by Peter Baryshnikov
BY MATTHEW SCHULTZ
Photo by Peter Baryshnikov
A Peter Baryshnikov's latest collection of photographs, Guajeros, confronts viewers with an intimate and surprising look at a both vital and forgotten group of people, the trash-pickers of Central America.
In Central American nations such as Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, recyclable materials are harvested by trash-pickers, or guajeros, and sold to private businesses, which re-sell these materials to China, where they become the products we use and depend upon in the United States and around the world.
Baryshnikov spent five months volunteering with Long Way Home, an NGO utilizing alternative materials for the construction of "quality homes and schools." His latest work displays an overlooked Central American landscape, strewn with trash, looking alternatively primordial and post-apocalyptic.Baryshnokov's photographs, however, emphasize individuals.
In his Artist Statement, Baryshnikov describes the origin and role of guajero communities. "When coffee prices dropped in the 1960's many farmers…
flocked to the cities to find work…. No matter how few jobs, however, there was and always will be trash which can be collected and sold for an average income of five dollars a day. In observing the poverty and struggle of these individuals, one is forced to confront a dark truth; we are all enablers of an increasingly exploitative globalized economy."
Photo by Peter Baryshnikov
Despite this, however, his aim is not to accuse, nor is it solely political. Rather the work is about the people; people who "live harder lives than [Baryshnikov had] ever witnessed" and the "extraordinary resilience" he saw in them. Still, he hopes his work will inspire viewers to become involved with organizations such as Long Way Home or Safe Passage, an NGO which brings resources and education to children and families living in poverty around the Guatemala City Garbage dump.
The photographs can be seen at Gallery 601 at 126 Boylston St in Boston. 10% of proceeds go to Safe Passages, providing support for impoverished children and families in Guatemala. Opening Reception is from 5-7pm on May 18th. 2012.