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A poem lovely as…

8 February, 2010

One of the great — and overwhelming — things about being a curator is you get a ton of electronic portfolios, announcements, and sample photographs sent to you by artists and galleries looking for a show, or hoping your museum will buy or accept work as a donation. Today I got one of the best ever — two photocopied images from a photographer (?) in Norway that show the trunk of a tree, which the artist says shows an elf trapped inside the bark (okay, to be exact he/she says it’s an ‘elf-angel’). The artist explains that the elf is 250 years old, and you can clearly see the eyes, nose, forehead, mouth and chin in the picture. What would I would be willing to pay, the artist wants to know? It comes in an aluminum frame, which helps.

I have a feeling it’s too rich for my blood, so I’m going to pass. Instead I dropped one of Tacita Dean’s incredibly beautiful over-painted photographs into the head of this post. I can’t afford one of those either, but I’m guessing it would be a better investment if I could.

I try to look at everything artists send me, though there really is too much to process. Occasionally, very occasionally, nice connections come out of it, but only rarely does it lead to a purchase or invitation to show. I always encourage artists sending out information to research the kinds of things the museum/curator they are approaching tend to work on and target their solicitations. A lot of the time I don’t think they have a very good idea who their audience is, so they are really barking up the wrong… er, you know.

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