Carl J Ferrero’s sharp new satires
HOW TO GET AHEAD IN THE ART WORLD
Wayne Northcross considers Carl J Ferrero’s sharp-witted new work
10-Step Art Career Advisory, Carl J. Ferrero’s new series, highlights two equally weighted demands placed on contemporary artists today: their need to establish a profitable career in an art market rife with substantial barriers to entry; the expectation that their work reflect important cultural, social and political themes.
Ferrero, whose work has been featured recently in The New York Times and who has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, offers tantalizing clues in his new watercolor and collages on paper. For example, in Find Own Your Own Voice (above), Why Bother, and Socialist Materialism, all from 2014, Ferrero lifts from art career advice websites and webinars pithy slogans and vaguely important art historical terminology that he re-employs satirically, showing us a disconnection between art creation and art marketing, and the artist as cultural hero. Ferrero questions whether the language to describe contemporary art practice must be encoded, impenetrable and opaque or necessarily impenetrable to enthusiasts outside of the market as well as to insiders and practitioners within. Pictorially Ferrero imagines artspeak, environmental disasters, political conflicts, and sexual identity as text bubbles that waft over collaged images of naked men, armed soldiers, and commando helicopters like tattered and towed airplane banners.
As a curator and artist manager I am often asked how one should go about securing representation or how an artist should get his or her work shown at all. Great questions surely. But I’d like to defer to Ferrero who suggests these issues are not as important as the artist’s and the viewer’s relationship to the work itself.
See more of Carl J Ferrero’s new work on the Artists’ page.
Profile: AK stylist Hilary Robertson
Making The Most Of ‘The Stuff Of Life’
In the introduction to Hilary Robertson’s latest interiors book (‘the stuff of life’ is her fourth), she casually references the ‘De Stijl-themed’ room she created as a student on campus inspired by a Rietveld chair, and the pebbles she gathers and stacks ‘like a novice Andy Goldsworthy’. Encyclopedic reserves of visual inventory flood all of the interiors or tableaux Hilary creates. She is possessed of that magical ability to move a few objects around and make the whole room come alive.
It’s tempting to explain Hilary’s talent as innate, but a study of Dada and surrealism, a love of Hollywood movies of the 30s and 40s, and a deep admiration for French interiors, in particular decorator Frederic Mechiche and the architect Jacqueline Morabito, gives academic heft to Hilary’s styling. A regular on all of the most prestigious interiors magazines: Vogue Living, Elle Decoration, Living Etc and many more, ArtKapsule is proud to be able to offer Hilary’s services to clients who would like advice, or practical help, in how to display collections – whether of rare prints, family photographs or treasured souvenirs – to t their very best advantage in order that you, the owner, can enjoy them to the fullest. After all, as Hilary writes in her latest book, what you collect is, ‘a way of showing the world who you are: the museum of me; a key to your personality… all ‘stuff’, even the most quotidien, can be beautiful if it is arranged as if it is important.’ Elaine Ronson
the stuff of life, Ryland Peters & Small, $35.
Pic (above) by Anna Williams, portrait of Hilary Robertson on Home page by Sioux Nesi.