Private View Thursday, September 5 from 6-9PM

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Hello London! I am finally feeling like a functioning human after a nasty spell of jet lag which involved falling asleep on the tube and almost missing my stop twice. I don’t tend to ease into things slowly so things have been fairly full-on days of packing in as much as I can everyday. I like to go hard or not bother. :)

I did try to make a few updates but found that my fingers were completely unable to type and keep up with my brain, now that I’ve have an excellent night’s sleep all my synapses are firing again.

Besides doing all the art related things one does while in London, I got treated to a most excellent performance of As You Like It at The Globe (huge understatement! I’ve never seen anything quite like that before, it was life affirming and wonderful) I’ve visited the gallery and I am absolutely thrilled and feeling so lucky to be able to share this new body of work with you in this amazing space. If you are in London, please come to the PV! I would so love to see you. I’d love to have a great turnout, so if you know anyone in the area that may like to come, PLEASE do forward this invitation on to them.

Or you can check out all the details on the gallery site to request a catalogue, or my own site with some more details including a forward by Claire Meadows.


ROOM SETS

A gallery of the paintings in situ.

Install day is the 4th and I’ve still got a London to do and see. Some highlights so far have been the Lee Krasner retrospective at the Barbican, and the Globe. I guess I’ve only really had 2 full days of mooching around so far so this list is a little thing, but today I will venture forth and see where the day takes me, and also plan on what morning I’m going to queue up to try to get a standing ticket to Fleabag!! I missed out on the ticket lottery and thought that was it, but then saw the standing ticket option… I’m not a fan of waiting in long lines but damn it, this would be bloody worth it to see PWB on stage. Fingers crossed!

More soon, probably! xx

 

A GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN

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* Apologies for the cross posting.

One of the most challenging obstacles in any artistic practice is self-identification: who am I to be doing this? Most commonly this presents itself as imposter syndrome. Other times, it's the difficulty and creative shame over asking for help. 

Yet here I am.

I want to do a cool thing. Without your help, I can't do the thing. With your help, we do the cool thing together.

I'm launching this campaign to raise some funds for my upcoming solo show in London. I've been fortunate enough to show in London before, at the Royal Academy of Arts and with After Nyne Gallery, but this is my first it's-just-me show to a major audience. There's creative risk and significant financial exposure.

I've taken a lot of this on, and  experienced some financial setbacks: I had hoped to be able to fund completely with a grant that I didn't get, and additionally to sell creative services and some paintings at a *fundraising* rate to help with the costs.

I've already had such a tremendous level of support from friends, collectors (old and new), family, and clients that I am truly grateful for - we're doing the cool thing together. We're almost there. But I need help to get this over the top and have it come together without 4AM panic attacks.

I've received a few emails asking how you can help – while I know I said initially that I would rather *earn* your contributions, it seems many of you just want to throw some funds my way to help with no strings attached. I am truly humbled by this and seriously cannot thank you enough for your support.

If you feel so inclined you can contribute something here and if that's not in the cards right now, you can still help by sharing this campaign on your feed, which is also received with deep gratitude.

This is TERRIFYING. But if art isn't scaring us a little, if it's not leaving the artist vulnerable, I wonder what it's for.

Let's go do a thing.

 

Dear Diary: Why Did I Choose This Line of Work?

Neon Migraine 5’ x 10’

Neon Migraine 5’ x 10’

Time. Perspective. Anxiety-laden terrible sleeps. Self doubt. FEAR. Crying. And a whole bunch of other shit. This work isn't for chumps.

I’ve emerged from the really-heavy-almost-one-month-long fog after completing 12 new paintings for my upcoming solo show in London this September with the inevitable thoughts about time and what would I have done differently if I had more of it.

This is an ongoing narrative for me. The thing is yes you can always use more time but for me there has to be an end date otherwise I spend too long faffing around in the experimental phase. The trouble I find that every single time, I push it into the last possible moment where I should have already made the shift from still painting to documentation. I’ll be painting well past the point where I should have stopped but there is always something that goes a bit sideways, or things aren’t resolving the way you want them to. It’s art, it’s messy, and while I can have a rough framework to work in a hard and fast end date is something I’m still working at getting better at. I’m not a robot, this isn’t a production line product, we have to leave room for the things to unfold as they need to. All this to say there is a balance that I am still negotiating.

There can be magic within tight timelines where there simply isn’t time to second guess yourself too much. My work plan consisted of make as many pieces as I can, curate them afterwards. For the most part this worked and only 2 pieces didn’t make the cut (they remain unfinished and a problem for some other time.)

What’s left to do in the documentation department? Lots of things… I still need to finish writing my artist statement, take better photos (ugh!) and finish naming the pieces (some titles came easily, others are taking their time to reveal themselves to me)

Then it’s straight to logistics and shipping the canvases to the stretcher in London and trying not to die every time I look at how much everything costs (not for chumps! I worry that I may be a chump deep down) This has been a bit of stumbling block for me and I had a well duh moment yesterday when I wanted to figure out why I’ve been resisting looking at this objectively. Last year I shipped my work to London and one of the large pieces was damaged, you may remember I wrote about that here. I was mortified and super embarrassed (good times!) and it looks like I may still have some trust issues around that (genius!)

Worse than having the work damaged is that I feel like I used up my you really fucked up card and yet here I am again doing something crazy and hoping that it all works out but really crazy stressed that something is going to go wrong again. I say this not for tiny violins but I know last time I kept most of my shitty imposter syndrome feelings inside and kind of suffered from it. This time I’m sharing it while it’s happening, in REAL TIME with the hopes of, I don’t know, just sharing I guess.

So there you have it, I made some ridiculous large work, am overwhelmed by all the things, and am scared shitless about it. This post was just supposed to be a short bit about Time and Perspective but I may have lost the plot here.

In other news I am trying to raise some funds to make all this happen. I applied for a grant that I sadly did not get and am paying out of a pocket that has a giant hole in it. Is it even really a pocket then? Probably not.

Anyway, it’s been suggested that I start a GO FUND ME campaign (hilariously just typed it out as GO FUCK ME, god I need a good night sleep) but I would rather do something to earn your cold hard cash so if you’re an artist and are thinking of working with me for all things related to your brand, now is an excellent time to book in with me. Even if you can’t start right away. Let’s commit the time and get you sorted. I have a couple of new offers here to help with your artist statement and bio and here to provide an artist brand critique.

Email me if you want more details, and please pass this on to your friends or network that could benefit from this. Thank You! xxx

*Alternatively, if you’d like to buy me a coffee every penny will be put towards the show expenses.

 

The Shitty Art Blog

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Impulse Control = Zero. *When you haven’t quite fully actualized a plan but decide to jump on it and you’ll figure it out later.

This seems to be my credo.

I started an experiment on my facebook page to ask people to share their shitty art to see what would happen. At first most of the sharers were not visual artists, it seemed easier for them to share something maybe because they don’t have an emotional investment to it?

Lots of things happened. The most obvious one is that your shitty art is not shitty to everyone. I was really hoping people would share some real stinkers but no one did. I didn’t even get around to sharing my shitty art yet because it’s all either hidden in my studio closet and I’m too lazy to walk all the way downstairs, or is just in the state of *temporary shittyness* while I figure it out. We all have those.

A friend (hi Heather!) suggested publishing a book of shitty art which led me to thinking a shitty art blog would be the best distraction because I really haven’t got enough to do. The basic idea so far is to invite people to share their shitty art and to answer a few questions about it, but who knows maybe it will just be another domain pointing to my own website if this fizzles out. The google searches alone leading back to my own site is, well, a choice.

www.theshittyartblog.com  is where you can sign up to find out more about this potentially awesome/potentially stupid idea.

 

Kate Kretz: Hate Hat at Jen Tough Gallery

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I so so wish I were able to see this show… If you’re in the Bay area don’t miss this important exhibition. Due to security issues the location for the PV will only be revealed to those that RSVP to the event. Details from the gallery below…

Kate Kretz: A Solo Exhibition 
San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood August 2, 3 and 4, 2019.

Due to security concerns, the opening reception will be an invitation only private viewing on Friday, August 02, 6:00-9:00. The artist will be present at this private event.

If you are interested in securing an invitation to the private viewing and preview of this powerful exhibition, please fill out this form: https://airtable.com/shrKHzjdMSBwxuXID

Public hours for exhibition:
Saturday, August 03 10:00-8:00 and Sunday, August 04 10:00-8:00

Address of event will be released closer to the event here, via the gallery newsletter first, followed by social media announcements

Kretz, known for powerful and politically charged work, is a Washington DC based artist who was recently banned from Facebook and Instagram for her series of work constructed entirely of MAGA hats that have been ripped apart and reconstructed. “The works are meant to both call out wearers who claim the hats to be innocuous, and to sound the alarm that history is repeating itself”. Kretz attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and obtained a BFA in drawing and painting from Binghamton University. She earned an MFA from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. This will be her first solo exhibition with Jen Tough Gallery.

Huffington Post article

Kate Kretz, Medium Article /Facebook ban

More info or inquiries: 
Jen@JenTough.gallery 
(833) 278-5683 
www.JenTough.gallery