I’m very happy to announce that one of my newest Widget Lockets will be debuting at the Twenty-Fourth Annual Small Works Juried Exhibition at Mikhail Zakin Gallery in northern New Jersey, located approximately 20 miles outside of New York City.Recent weeks have been busy, as I feel I’m constantly rushing to write applications to exhibit and enter juried competitions to show my jewelry/metalwork. There’s the continual deadlines – the “open tabs” I never seem to close on my phone/tablet with details of some new possible group show where I’ll be one of hundreds of applicants competing for a spot. This is not anything new to most emerging artists, especially here in the U.S., as the juried exhibits are a mainstay of getting our pieces shown where curators, galleries and ultimately, art buyers will see our work. It amazes me as any artist who preps for entering calls to exhibit how much the images of our artwork are as important and valuable as the actual work pieces themselves. The object, or in this case, “the art object” literally takes on a second life of its own. Once the digital photos are taken, they are entered into a stream online or burned to CD and at that moment, those 2-D images BECOME the art itself. It is the first thing one sees that introduces your creative concept or design, all resting upon those pixels that you (or your photographer) have “framed” for the viewer. As a maker of 3-D objects, I find this dichotomy of pixels vs. tangible artwork sometimes unsettling; however, as I’ve worked as a graphic designer professionally, the emphasis now placed on 2-D digital images also informs my current body of artwork. After all, this is what I place inside my jewelry pieces and lockets: snippets of text, typography, and photography.
So I must ask this question: how much do you think about how your artwork appears online? As makers, is it possible to be pleased with this “second life” that our work becomes?