Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What Is A Maker?

Some time ago I got a magazine subscription to, METROPOLIS, that I never ordered. For once it had a topic that fascinated me, telling about "creatives types" everywhere.

I remember being fascinated with the large paintings you could find any place the seller found space. They weren't bad but after awhile favorites seemed to show up at more locations. 

One of the networks did a feature on this phenomenon that was startling. About 50 canvases were set up and there were 50 artists. The canvas was primed and roughed in, then painted. Each artist had to paint one small portion, exactly the same. They went on this way until it matched a master hanging above them.

My question became, is this really art?

Being a modern maker is a post industrial movement all over the world but primarily in America. "From potters to politicans, everyone today wants to be called a maker. What can designers really expect from this hazy movement?" Once again artists felt free to create and make single items that were original for sale. Etsy (and others as well) was a response to this trend then destroyed it by allowing anyone to sell if they were involved in some part of the item. I hate to tell Etsy but everything made on the planet was designed, usually for mass production, by someone and shouldn't qualify under their original quidelines.

METROPOLIS then features 10 makers and what they create. Much of it is stunning and expensive but qualifies as true art. Lots of one of a kind furniture, beautiful pottery, weaving  and quilts. All are art forms and  deserving of the maker title. I wish I could show you images but iPads have many limititations and inserting images is one. 

I urge you to check out these artists. They are new without the the rauch and hype:

Folk Fibers
Ricketts indigo
Dana Bechert
John Hogan
Smith Shop
Studio Dunn
Silvia Song

You also might want to consider what art is. Museums are finally waking up and are more discriminating. They've always known but wanted to be hip. Their punishment was that no one would come. Art is meaningful, or should be. Great art in any medium lifts the spirit and allows us to reflect. Vanity art is just that. Museums need to learn the difference.

Alan Krug