05/10/2006: "Art Exhibit Etiquette"
I've probably mentioned this before, but there is a time and a place for giving “suggestions” to artists regarding their work. First of all, if it's "constructive" it should be solicited and secondly, it should be while the work is still in progress. You shouldn't give advice on how to “fix” a finished piece once it’s on display, especially at the artist’s opening when they're already feeling super insecure.
I have a friend who hasn’t painted in decades (who has never even shown me their own work) yet feels compelled to point out all the things I need to do to improve mine; it really makes me crazy! I mean, I know all the rules she points out in her most patronizing voice, I have just chosen not to follow them for stylistic reasons.
Anyway, I was complaining about it to another friend who went to a ceramicist’s show the same night as mine...some guy had cornered the artist and proceeded to tell her (at length) how she could make her work more marketable if she just made “a few small changes”…such as adding images of bears and eagles into the sides of her vessels etc.
I'm sure these people have the best of intentions...but seriously...what are they thinking?