Surviving the Underground Art World: A New Class Featuring Android Jones Tackles the “M” Word

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Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.

-Andy Warhol

We all know an artist who has amazing vision and the skills necessary to bring it to life. This person creates works of profound beauty that evoke strong, and at times complicated, emotional responses that effect our being in the world. We might feel a little dizzy as we realize our heads and hearts have been blown open by something that’s at once incomprehensible yet strangely familiar–like visiting our childhood home and seeing it painted a different color, with new trees planted where old ones once stood.

This is what great art does–it’s not something that, despite the best efforts of critics, can easily be explained with words. Perhaps that’s the entire point–the realness of the work must be experienced, up close, in real life. Unfortunately, many of the best artists we know never seem to get the chance to show their work beyond the cluttered confines of their studio space. Some may sell the occasional piece but not garner the support or recognition necessary to do their work full time, leading to burnout and despair as they struggle with day jobs to make ends meet. How many of us have watched sadly as talented friends became bitter and angry at an art scene they perceive as being run by insiders with wealthy friends? The struggling, starving artist is an age old story, of course, but perhaps it no longer has to be quite as dramatic. Like so many things, the internet is leveling the playing field for those who learn how to use the tools it provides. Instead of seeing the business of art as ancillary to the process of making it, a new generation of artists are taking heed of Warholian wisdom and viewing the act of selling their art as another mode of expression. In this new world, the artist uses social media to extend the vision of his or her art, instead of to distract or undermine from it.

In a special one-off, SynchCast [link: http://www.synchcast.net] video webinar entitled, “Mainstream Money for Underground Artists: The Best Practices to Establish Your Work in the Digital World” the artists Android Jones and Michael Robinson will share their best secrets for using the digital domain as an extension of an artist’s work and to use these powerful tools to actually earn a living off of doing what they love. The interactive video technology will allow artists to use their webcam and microphone to ask their questions directly to Android and Michael. If you don’t have a webcam or microphone, you can still ask questions using the session’s chat feature.

Android Jones is at the forefront of the Electro-Mineralist art movement, a wave of artists who’s medium is electricity and their hardware and tools are forged from mining elements found deep inside the earth. Android’s body of work aims to emphasize creativity as the foundation of consciousness and an agent of social change. As an Electro-Mineralist, Android builds on the technical developments of past centuries in art history while pushing the boundaries of the imagination with new technologies and media forms. Moving beyond the traditional organic vegetable and animal technologies of pencils, ink, and brushes, Android develops latent possibilities within software programs such as Painter, Photoshop, ZBrush, and Alchemy, discovering new combinations and uses for tools that exceed the original intentions of their programmers.

In Android’s live art performances, including the acclaimed Phadroid dance performances with wife Phaedra Ana, he incorporates elements of chance and improvisation, inviting synchronicities that additionally exceed the individual artist’s intentions and allow for unscripted moments of beauty to shine through. As an experience designer, Android has contributed to films, games, and to building communities in person and online, and his interactive installations have enchanted tens of thousands of participants at events like Boom and Burning Man.

Android will be joined by co-host, Michael Robinson, who is a Brooklyn based graphic designer and educator known for the fusion of elegant image solutions and bold typography for A-List clients like Alicia Keys, RZA, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Vogue, Coca Cola, Ramada Hotels, MacArthur Genius Award winner, Shen Wei and Shen Wei Dance Arts, and celebrity photographer Timothy White. In 2005, he cofounded the web magazine Reality Sandwich (RS) and alternative media hub Evolver.

Michael has been on faculty at Parsons School of Design for 14 years, and was nominated in both 2008, and 2011 for the Excellence in Teaching award. He continues to lecture on art and design both here and abroad and exhibit his fine art work.

Together, Android and Michael will reveal the psychology behind selling and marketing your art, how to set up a store, price work, use social media, make the right alliances, and gain the algorithm for success so that your art can go directly to the collector. These two sought after artists openly discuss how to easily support yourself as an artist from the festival circuit to the white cube gallery scene, and will give you the tools necessary for dealing professionally with fans and collectors.

This 90 minute session takes place on Wednesday, June 25th at 9PM EDT. Learn more and sign up here:

http://www.synchcast.net/#!mainstream-money-for-underground-artists/c1u4x

 

 

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  • Number1Framer

    As someone who has the word “artist” in their description, but lacks a link to go to from there, I feel compelled to chime in (at length):

    My day job as a custom framer has brought me into contact with people at every rung of the ladder described in the fist paragraph as well as movers and shakers of the ‘corporate’ art world people aren’t usually aware of (who do you think makes all those stock photos and printed giclee ‘paintings’ you see in stores, hotels, and hospitals?). I’ve met people more skilled and talented than most well known artists will ever be who have gone through spells of homelessness as a result of devotion to their craft. I’ve also met billionaire collectors who warehouse bullshit in climate controlled storage for its investment value. I’ve met people who “just like to paint” and I’ve met people who ARE the real deal and don’t care to prove it by having a nice home, but by never having a permanent home.

    I can assure you that the traditional art world of galleries and collectors is absolutely a good ol’ boys club of the rich and/or connected. Not to say that you can’t break in if you’re talented, but mostly if it’s a ‘safe’ talent – meaning there’s always gonna be a market for traditional art like landscape painting vs work that’s socially or politically radical. In other words, if you’re thoughtful or feel like you have something to say, forget about having anyone to listen. I’m actually now in the process of pulling my work OUT of galleries so I can focus on my online presence (hopefully launching this August!).

    But there is good news: Now is the only time that everything that has ever been done IS also still being done. There’s no trend anymore which should leave one free to truly pursue their honest to god passion – which is what we all claim to do anyway. With this freedom of course comes the issue of too much personal freedom. I say if you’re an artist who sees that as a problem, you need to find a new line of work or go work for Slaymaker creating decorations for office buildings. I don’t care if I ever sell anything again, I’m just gonna keep making the crap long after I run out of room for it. Someone can come dig my rotting corpse out from under a pile of old tabletops and mahogany panels. LOL

  • BuzzCoastin

    andy’s art was the end of all that shit
    that was his point
    art for art’s sake, money for gods sake
    money turns art into entertrainment

    wee are now all artists, life is our canvas
    art is not about money or recognition
    it’s about the personal satisfaction found in artfully living
    the pleasure of experiening the ineffable through artistry

  • Ted Heistman

    I have to say that I have seen successful artists in action and what they do is crank out a lot of stuff. They are very productive.

    • Number1Framer

      “Work” must be a verb before it can be a noun.

      • Ted Heistman

        true dat!

    • InfvoCuernos

      You know what they say about practice ;-)

      • Ted Heistman

        I think Woody Allen said life is 90% about showing up. Also I think once other people see you making art, year after year, They begin to trust that you aren’t going anywhere and that you will have an actual body of work. It takes a while for people to put you in context.

        I think people who make it, at some point basically decided that this is what they are going to do.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Andy Warhol? I thought you said this thing was about art, not marketing gimmicks.

    • InfvoCuernos

      Andy Warhole showed everyone that the “Art World” was more about the personality of the artist than any talent they might have. It could be allowed to stand to have actual artists calling the shots when they didn’t have any money or power. Rich assholes couldn’t let that stand.

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