"If you are passionate enough to express it then so be it and let it stand. It would be like destroying part of a work of art"
- I often "destroy" parts of my own art, the only difference is I call it editing (warning, I may do it here).
"One thing however is that if you wish to express how you feel have the courage of your conviction and at least level the playing field by not posting items anonymously."
-The Korean Mask Festival comes from a time when the towns people and farmers could question the nobility without fear of prosecution. Anonymity is an important tool to encourage the fearful to speak out. It unfortunately is misused at times (I'm guilty of that for sure, despite my honest efforts).
"As far as the original comments go, I initially chose to observe and not respond. Some of the comments hurt me deeply others were very fair and while perhaps not complimentary to my work certainly seemed to express how that person felt and while perhaps not the most pleasant experience for myself or anyone else being critiqued, it is their opinion and they are entitled to it. There are pieces I love that you might hate and vice-versa."
-I think this "critique" was of the character portrayed in the article, not you or your art. The best rebuttal is exactly what you've done; provide us with a clearer view of who you really are.
"My claims are not false, however I am - to my mind - not a pompous, arrogant, amateur “BS-er” who awards himself accolades or makes claims of exhibitions, sales, shows that are untrue."
- As I mentioned, you sounded very sincere on the phone, and I'm sorry for anything we might have suggested that was untrue.
"As I mentioned in our conversation, a piece created in a minute or a lifetime may be equally pleasing or abhorrent to the beholder, nonetheless does that invalidate the art or the sentiment?"
- ...I have seen works of art that were created in relatively short periods of time, which were meaningful or beautiful in a way that spoke to me. It CAN be done quickly, as long as the artist cares (and the stars align just so). I would say how valid something (art or sentiment) is, is highly subject to distortion from the perspective it’s viewed from, the perception. Also there are many levels and kinds of "valid". Commercial success valid, meaningful valid, quality valid, uniqueness valid, rebellious and conformed (traditional) valid and so on; It makes for a complex mix. When it comes to the commercial sales, and that measurement of success, the artists who create more quickly, with cheaper materials are at a great advantage.
I suppose I harbour a little resentment toward people who are in an advantageous position and act callously to those who are currently less fortunate. Coming to Winnipeg (discount city) and saying the suppressed artists of Winnipeg should “make their own success”, and not “just sit around and wait for it to happen" after a pile of name dropping and status saber rattling, including actual $ figures …this is so obvious, it’s why I took issue with the article when I read it. It’s even more mysterious when I speak to you and you seem so intelligent, conscientious, and nice. I don’t think my interpretation was way left field here either; many people came to me with the same idea.
"However Morley decided to write the article was up to him"
-To some degree, but he does have a certain responsibility (to readers) to be honest. The level of "spin" (as we've been putting it) is related to that honesty. Regardless of his creative license, I don't feel like he (Morley) portrayed you (Ludolf) accurately, based on our conversation. I believe it was not your intent to mock Winnipeg or its low income and emerging artists, but that this tone was put in place by Morley, for whatever reason (to make you look bad? Why would he do that?). Is this even what happened?
"However I came across or however you felt I was portrayed is just a question of perception and personal judgment"
-This is a lesson I've been learning everyday forever. Even so, I was not alone in calling this (article) a duck, and am lead to believe it must have been walking a bit like one.
"One important aspect was that it was not my intention to come across as arrogant, pompous or condescending. It was not my intention to come across as someone who hated Winnipeg or looked down on any of the art community here or anywhere else."
- Most people don't intentionally come across as arrogant, pompous or condescending. It's something that happens either quite by accident or ..."spin".
"I am not trying to detract, deny or brown-nose in this - I merely want to give you the chance to hear what I truly believe to be sentiments....directly from ME."
-This speaks to me the most. The fact that you've taken the time to come here and try and explain yourself amidst less than friendly critisms, that speaks volumes. You're brave.
"I know I have the courage of my conviction to disregard all other work and to purely paint, I do this to share my heart and my art for those who wish to enjoy it or view it; even for those who wish to discredit and mock it."
-Of course, thank you for sharing your ideas with us so passionately. You have stirred some very thought provoking discussions!
"It is not financially driven however if I do not sell my work I will not be able to pay my bills. Some feel selling art is wrong, I do not. Some feel that working at another day-time job and not dedicating yourself to being an artist is hypocrisy or wrong, I do not. Many will tell you that I am passionate about Art - not just my art - and that I try to help leverage the promotion of Art and in turn also try to do my little bit for the community."
- Not being able to pay the bills. Welcome to my world. I also don’t play by those “what an artist should do” rules. Honestly I would like to sell my art but am at a definite disadvantage making art that takes a long time per canvas, and not having any money to market myself, or buy materials (framing etc) at the beginning. I can have no gripe and do not complain about competing with a successful artist when I'm not even in the market. Conversely, I expect they would have the good sense not to rub my nose in it.
Of course you didn’t (mean to) do that! But how could an experienced writer like Morley not see the implications. I would have thought he would have a good knowledge of his readers including lower income earners involved in cultural production. Really sorry here, I don't mean to be accusatory (toward you or Morley or the Free Press), I'm just still working on my confusion.
"I was sad that there were “gatecrashers” or plans to sabotage my event"
- I assure you the ALFA blog members had no part in such plans.
"...and that no one introduced themselves"
-I've never introduced myself to the artist on an opening night (that I can recall). I'm not outgoing like that, but it's not underhanded at all.
"I have a hard time with those bureaucrats who wield the power of art in communities, those who may never have had a creative feeling or moment in their life other than deriding, negating, or generally being indifferent to those who keep them in their jobs. There are many “societies”, associations and the like who fly the banner of supporting the arts that are no more than mutual masturbation cliques totally self-indulgent with a disregard for all I stand for."
- I am not entirely opposed to self indulgence in art, but probably have the same distaste for the corruption (although I don’t normally see it).
"We do not always have to suffer for our art, but somehow we always do a little".
-Haha, total contradiction, and totally true
"I share my work as it comes from my heart, of course I want to be accepted and loved like many others HOWEVER if I have to never show my face and stay locked in my basement to do what I love, or if society or the community in which I live chooses to make me a persona non-grata or an outcast then so be it. I know what is in my heart and I will never stop painting, drawing, writing and creating. Thanks for allowing me this opportunity, I value it. There is so much more I could say and I want to say; however I do not want you to hate my writing as much as you hate my paintings."
-I don't hate your paintings. I REALLY wanted to hate them, after reading that article, but I couldn't do it (and I mean before I spoke to you, so based on the work, not you being a nice guy). Of course it's a lot easier to appreciate something when you know the person who made it, and why (they made it). The writing is a good way to bridge that gap.
“Know this, I admire and respect many well known, and lesser known artists in this community and elsewhere and yes whoever said “there are 50 guys in Winnipeg that would blow this guy out of the water” I agree. Geoffroy Ettienne Dextraze’s drawings, Ken Hildebrand, Lois Hogg, Jordan Miller, Rodrigo Pradel, Wanda Luna, Winston Leathers, Lorne Roberts, Linus Woods, Shawn Berard, Helma Rogue Raiders, Janice Kenworthy and many others whose work I have come to know and admire.”
-Some familiar names and some to look up (but not that Roberts hack =P).
“Please do not judge me until you have met me. and I will try to do the same. Say whatever you wish about my work, I will do the same.”
-Thank you, I look forward to meeting you, and being able to judge you more fairly; with empathy, as a human being. One of my favorite professors once told me in a blanket statement, ‘every artist in the world believes what they do to be true’. It may be uncomfortable to have that questioned, but hopefully it will lead to greater understanding and greater truths.
“I hope to meet you all one day, if I do not recognize you please say “hello” I will do the same.”
“…for those who made disparaging remarks about me personally and / or anonymously “BITE ME!””
-careful what you wish for ;)
(I just bought a roller)
Sincerely David Macri