‘Bout Page

UPDATED June 2011:

‘Bout What I Sees began in early 2006 as a blog for creator Salvador Castillo’s critical writing. Adding a listing calendar and other features while engaging in conversations across the blogosphere and gallery openings, ‘BWIS has grown into an Austin art hub. The dormant blog is kept alive by disseminating information via Twitter and Facebook. ‘Bout What I Sees continues to engage the art community by curating exhibitions and organizing events

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UPDATED Mar 2009:

Who am I
to judge one’s perspective?
Though some of that shit ya’ll pop true it,
I ain’t relating
If I don’t like it, I don’t like it
That don’t mean that I’m hating
I just want to innovate
And stimulate minds
Travel the world
And penetrate the times.
-Common, “The 6th Sense”

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I have recently received my BFA in studio art. Bills keep me from getting my art on, so I have decided to review local art exhibits. I aim to provide the public with an honest assessment of the Austin art scene, while improving my analytical and critical skills.


As of July 2006:
Six months later, I’m still writing. But now I write for a couple of editors, including myself. That’s why I came up with the SeeSaws. I still want to cover all of Austin, give honest feedback, and offer my thoughts on art industry topics. My time is just limited.

With the SeeSaws I am able to offer my quick, immediate impression of a show. This is just an extension of the rating.

The ratings range from
GREAT- The whole show was good. The ideas were intelligent, the execution was accurate, communicatino was layered.
GOOD- The work was good, but the show overall was lacking something.
NOT BAD- There is some level of success. Be it technical, conceptual, entertaining, etc.
BAD- Elements are lacking all around. Most importantly art is missing. The act of exploring, experimenting, questioning and subverting is not present or not considered.

I like to think that I have three positive rankings and one neutral, but the terms I use suggest I have two positive and two negative. Either way, they reflect my personal opinion toward a show. It depends what mood I’m in, that’s why I would prefer to write a full review.

Short reviews are usually edited version of my thoughts in order to sell them to a publication. I try to maintain my character as much as possible, but also conform to traditional publication guidelines.

Long reviews are my original intentions for this site. I like to sit down and recall everything I experienced concerning the artwork at a show. What materials were used, how they were applied, the environment, the scene and the even the industry at large. I don’t try to hide the fact that I like academic art. But I do understand graffiti or street art, illustration, design, etc. Hopefully I ask more questions than assert my own ideas.


9 comments on “‘Bout Page

  1. Hey man,
    thanks for posting that photograph of the Intel building…you are right the sun’s hitting that shit just right!
    And thanks for coming to the show. Sorry that I didn’t get a chance to talk to you. I’ll see you around, though.

    Virginia Yount

  2. I would also submit that “bills keep me from getting my art on” can be roughly translated as “I’m afraid to get in the trenches, so I’ll judge others instead while I figure out if I have the conjones to proceed onward myself.” I played that game for almost 30 years… it goes on and on if you let it.

  3. No, “bills keep me from getting my art on” means that bills keep me from getting my art on.

    It takes up less time and space for me to write than it does for me to make art.

    Actually, my writing is evidence of me proceeding onward.
    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles … If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”Sun Tzu

    If you take art as the enemy, then you can see that my writing is preparation for when I go back in the studio. Pointing out what I like and don’t like in others’ work helps me figure out what direction I want to take.

    I’m sorry it took you so long to figure out what you were doing. I actually have a good network of friends and acquaintances that challenge me to become better and to someday soon, return to the studio.

  4. Yep, me too, me too on the excuses and friends and acquaintances encouraging me all that time. Life has a way of passing you by really fast while you think of ways to not have to jump down into that trench. Look at Grandma Moses, but she finally got the courage up. It does take courage. Then you get to get your “BAD” review. It’s fun!

    Okay, I’m ready for my BAD review now, let’s just get it over with, shall we?

    By the way, I’m really not a jerk, and you probably aren’t either. Just put yourself in the artists’ shoes. But I’ve got my best asbestos vest on. Fire away. :) Then I’ll just go back to the clubhouse. They even let girls in there.

  5. I am in the trenches and I am wearing my artist shoes! Why do you think I don’t like being called a critic?

    People were grumbling that there wasn’t enough arts writing. That’s one of the factors of why I started writing here. And as an artist, I prefer critiques that are truthful, even if misinterpreted. So that’s what I do. I tell you ’bout what I sees, how I feel ’bout it and what it makes me think.

    I’ll write your review after I process all of the other shows that came before yours.

  6. hello, i just got pointed to your blog. i’m in austin and it’s nice to see more perspective than just the weekly stuff in the chron.

    as far as getting in the trenches goes, i work a full time job and then work on my painting every night and/or day if time permits. i have a family to support and blah blah blah. point is, it’s never easy or casual.

    a big part of creating quality art is the physical time spent doing it. there’s an old excercise to complete 100 paintings in 100 days, not worrying about how good they are etc. the idea being you’ll answer a lot of questions and get your chops up all at the same time. i highly recommend it cause the ‘planning on it someday’ thing can be a real trap. the longer you wait to get to it, the harder it becomes. there’s never a time when you wake up and say, today i’m going to make great art”. it just doesn’t work that way. 99% of the time it’s a product of intense effort and editing. like taking 100 photographs to find that 1 perfect image.

    anyway, my 2 cents. i’ll be reading.

  7. Hey! Glad I found you! I am an artist who grew up around here, went away to college, didn’t major in studio art at my little liberal arts school because the teachers pissed me off too much, and then moved back with such a hunger to create that I’ve just been doing the arts and scraping by on part-time odd jobs. Though I guess I’ve sort of had a chip on my shoulder about not “fitting in” to what I’ve seen as the academic-clique arts scene here, I am starting to poke my head out and look around a little. Your “character”-infused writing is a welcoming thing to find, so thanks!

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