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.

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Photography: Nirel Berz

 

beach

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.

Photography: Madalin Radu

Photography: Madalin Radu

Photography: Nirel Berz

Photography: Nirel Berz

 

burn

 

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

three cards.

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

(bless them)

there will be grad schools and other institutions

that reject you completely

(bless them)

there will be more paintings

drawings

collages

performances

installations

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