buy barter or burn
Half exhibition, half party, in this event friends and family gathered at my sister’s home to celebrate my birthday by buying or bartering for my art. Some friends were inspired to make art for the party; others brought in items they already owned like a poetry book and an avocado or a really cool rock. Inspired by the idea of the gift economy, I wanted to sell my art in a more relational way, with the option to exchange without money. Each exchange was photographed in front of a backdrop that attenders could paint on. Any unclaimed art was burned at the culmination of the event, a threat that heightened the significance of each exchange.
Photography: Nirel Berz
After exchanging the art, we processed to the nearby Lighthouse State Beach. Using our bodies and seaweed “pencils” we made (undocumented) marks in the sand, routinely erased by the waves.
twenty year ago, on a sunday afternoon, my sister and i sold handmade greeting cards on our front porch
in the span of four hours
one neighbor came:
an old lady, who bought
we made $3 yet
i kept at it
so by the time i was sixteen
i was making fine art
i sold a painting for $300
which still hangs in the house where i babysat
i sold a painting for icecream
when visiting yosemite
i wouldn't sell a painting for iceceam today
i'm lactose intolerant.
but i would sell a painting for
a beautiful rock
a totoro pendant
an olive tree
a genesis collage
a poetry collage
three poetry books and an avocado
a drawing of berries
a painting called hobble bobble bobble
i don't want to end this by saying
"one person's trash is another person's treasure"
or "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
or "i need to work on my art business skills"
but there will be old ladies and good friends
that buy your paintings
there will be grad schools and other institutions
that reject you completely
there will be more paintings
and found object fabric constructions
and all you needed was
one grad school anyways
so here's to
art art art
art you sell
art you burn
art you keep