2 comments on “No Service, No Shirt, No Shoes

  1. This got me wondering. Should I have memberships with all of our local museums? Should I be dropping chips at these art events? Should I purchase art from local artists? Should I have subscriptions to art magazines?

    no. no. no. yes.

    Being a writer does put you in a special category. You will never get paid in money even a fraction of what would cover the amount of time you will spend researching, reading, attending events, and writing about them. Part of your compensation package is that you get into events for free. Your support of the local scene is that you lend your insight and your time for practically no money to further the dialog about art. When you learn about an art event, call ahead and ask where you can pick up your comp passes.

    Buying art from local artists invalidates any writing you might do about said artists or about anyone doing similar work or “competing” work in the same market. This hasn’t always been the case–Clement Greenberg collected nearly everyone he touted. But it’s the case now. Conflict of interest is a summamabitch.

    Art magazines are essential–even if all you do is look at the pictures and read the headlines and bylines. This is your metier, and those are your colleagues. And of course it goes without saying that subscriptions are a writeoff, as are any books about pretty much anything, any travel during which you see even a minimum of art, and any “get to know you” meals with artists, curators, gallerists, and museum personnel. Pay for your own coffee.

    I’m not an accountant. But I am an arts writer. At least for now.

    Oh, and charities and fund raisers are gray area. Support financially if you think it matters, don’t if you don’t think it matters. Big Medium needs you. But unless you’re a big donor, AMOA couldn’t care less about your shitty little pittance. Either way, you’re entitled to go.

  2. Entitled or expected?
    I know I won’t be making any financial transactions, especially at a place like AMOA. But if I’m not invited, I find it difficult to make an appearance.

    I was hoping to suck someone from the Austin community into this discussion, but your insight is appreciated nonetheless.

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