Only Two

There’s only 3 things, obviously, PLACES, THINGS, and EVENTS, but for art there’s only two. What are those two? Amateur and professional? Historic and contemporary? Good and bad? No, it’s much simpler than any of that, there’s art that’s art and art that’s a commodity. The Snail (Matisse, 1953) is a commodity. It’s not a commodity ’cause anyone would have picked it up in a yard sale, not because it’s inherently valuable-even as a pretty thing to look at-which it isn’t-just because Matisse made it. A caricature from some anonymous busker on the boardwalk is a commodity too, not because of who made it but because of who wants it.

It’s not that different with pickled sharks. Only no mater what someone, a specific someone paid for that caricature, and it’s going to be recognizable as what it is as long as it’s subject exists in living memory. After that it’s going to stop being a commodity, and it might end up in the paper recycling. But then, it might not. Once it’s done being a commodity it’s still going to be art. Every single living human could die, and gods or aliens or robot archeologists could uncover that cartoonish doodle and they’d know it as art. They’d see work that’s representative but not realistic and art would be art. They’d see a toilet as a toilet, a badly preserved shark as a poorly prepared scientific specimen (if it lasted-it wont ’cause it’s very badly done) and a jumble of paper glued to a canvas as an accident.

So don’t think you gotta be poor to be an artist, don’t think you can’t sell or even sell out. Just try and make sure you make something that’s going to stay art.

Art Book Review

When I say art book I mean a book about art, not one of those books full of all the sketches and character/world design stuff from a movie or television show. In this case I don’t even mean art instruction, insipration, or any of that. There aren’t even any pictures. What I mean isn’t even really art history, more art theory, yeah, or art religion. I mean Realisation From Seeing to Understanding the Origins of Art by this guy, Julian Spalding.

I’ve never heard of Julian Spalding. I really like him.

I’ve been having problems with reality again. I blame putting away the cameras, they were quite the crutch I guess. I figgured this book would be a good way to read about my trouble without getting caught up in it.

Turns out Spalding is a god damn mavrick. This is a book, full of history, full of pronouncements, with no foot-notes. Spalding is a guy who’ll take a position, his own position, and not qualify. Spalding knows what Stonehendge was for. Spalding knows why the top of the pyrimids at Giza are flat. Spalding knows why perspective came about when it did and it’s not the lame incimental progression slow evolution bullshit that has no place in art history.

I love this book. I had to stop reading it constantly and not for the usual no-pic art book reason of needing to go off and remember what this or that work looked like. I had to stop reading because I needed to give this or that bit time to crawl around through what I remember from art history one whatever through four whathaveyou. I had to stop and start because if I didn’t it’d all be over fast, too fast.

It’s not without it’s flaws. Like everything written on art that mentions any specific work there is a bit of that revolting tendency to see things that aren’t there (ha!) in this or that painting. If you read what I just wrote, I think you should buy what Spalding wrote back in 2015. It’s more relevent every day, not less.

PayPal Sucks

So PayPal is trash. Let’s ignore the fact that there’s no reason for the “service” to exist. I mean, why on Earth would I want a company between a buyer and a seller when I don’t need one? Let’s look instead about the updated seller refund policy. It says that if there’s a return for a refund PayPal still gets their fee, the seller pays it, and everyone is back to square one. Well, except for the PayPal who get’s to make a profit and the seller who gets to lose money on a sale that got un-done.

Say a creative sells a print for a $100. That means somebody out there sends $100 to someone else and PayPal facilitates that transaction (as if we didn’t already have financial institutions and social contracts providing for that) pockets 2.9% + $0.30 or $3.20 and the creative gets $96.80 on the sale. If the creative was a convience store they’d just charge $103.20 for a print or price there work at $100 sticker and then add tax and fee’s at checkout. Now, nobody does that because as a population most creatives aren’t douchbags.

Now maybe that print gets creased in the mail when some carrier crams it into a PO box. The buyer wants a refund (and deserves one) so they get their $100 back. Now, you’d think that’d mean PayPal makes nothing on the transaction, and that used to be true, but instead they keep their fee and charge the seller to make the buyer whole. Who does that? Assholes.

So I want to close my PayPal account. Their website tells me I can’t and to contact customer service. I do and they say I gotta wait ten days for a “pending” transaction. I do. Try and close my account again. Can’t. Contact customer service. They tell me theirs an old, open, eBay case and I should contact them to get it addressed then PayPal will close my account.

Call eBay. Nope, no open case. In fact the only activity on my eBay account is so old that even if there was a case I’m told it would have been automatically closed by now.

Call PayPal. Nope, still can’t close my account. I tell ’em what eBay said. They give me details on the case and it’s two years old. I tell them that eBay said that means it’d be closed anyway. PayPal says it would have closed automatically on their end too because it’s so old, but it’s open so they can’t close my account. They want me to conference in customer service from eBay. I do. It’s like two brick walls arguing with each other. Everyone says they can’t do anything ’cause the problem is on the others end.

I open a Better Business Bureau case. And start giveing PayPal a call every day. Meanwhile everything I send them in their idiotic “secure messaging system” is generating automated replies that have nothing to do with the issue. Every time I call PayPal they explain how they can’t do anything and I need to close this case that is only open on their end but is somehow eBay’s problem.

Just for fun I successfully close my eBay acount. And I get the notice that the BBB has contacted PayPal, they have x days to respond, blah blah blah. Keep on calling PayPal once a day. This is my Everest.

Again PayPal want’s me to conference in eBay so they can rub their dicks together. Fine whatever.

One day I get on the line with someone from PayPal who’s not in an overseas call center. This is an actual guy in a cube-farm in the US someplace. He wants me to conference in eBay. Fine lets do that. Hey remember how ya’ll aren’t the same company anymore, how’s that working out? Why’s conferencing the eBay rep part of the standard script? PayPal finally says, and I quote “this shouldn’t be open. I’ll put in a ticket to get the support team looking at why this wasn’t closed.” I’m told I’ll get an email notifying me when my account is closed.

I get a notification that I have a message in their secure message center. The message says some trash like “Hi, my name is Buck Nutley. I’ve reviewd your request to close your account and am stepping in to reccomend you call our customer service department to achive the desired resolution to your issue.” I tell Buck no, I’m not doing that. I don’t want to hear from them until they’re ready to say they’ve closed my account.

Finally my account is closed. And all I can think is when the hell did ComCast buy PayPal?

Every day week 2

Proportions are weird. No wonder the trope of an artist holding up the handle of a paint brush are so common. No wonder measurments are important. Scale doesn’t mater, just the relationship of one thing to another. Water-soluble graphite is faster than hatching but looks less polished, less intentional. Maybe ink outlines and water soluble graphite for the tones one of these times.

Things I don’t get

There’s only 3 things. Gender is a 1. I mean, of course it is. I don’t get it though. I become aware that I don’t get it when I read things like this on The Nib. Go read it. Gender is a 3 for this person. That means it’s not someplace they are, it’s something that happens to them. I don’t get it, but that’s interesting. Like, here’s a person who thinks about gender on a level that’s far and away more involved than most people. That sort of makes me sad that I don’t think about it more.

I mean, if I say, “thank you, sir” to somebody it’s done without a thought. No malice, quite the opposite, it’s intended to be distancing and respectful. Sir is gendered, but it’s a sign of deference. If I think about it, it’s saying thanks, but it’s personal in that it identifies a specific person, while stepping back from that intimacy by establishing subordination through the use of an appalation like sir. Appreciation to unique entity separate from and unfamiliar but in elevated standing relative to myself.

For someone who has gender as an event, that’s off-putting, insulting. I’m inflicting my perception of a personal event on their own chronology. I am telling them where they are in relation to me, I get that as such that act is probably going to have negative effects on them.

I wonder though if this is more indicative not of any difference in our oppionions or desire to behave well to each other, but rather a product of the differing importance of gender to each of us. Gender doesn’t mater much to me, so if I missgender or am missgendered, it occupies no psychic real-estate. If it’s important to someone who is missgendered it would of course occupy more. How much onflict is the product of differing levels of assigned importance rather than conflicting oppinions or possitions? Probably more than we would care to know.

It’s personanlly elevating to have an oppion that is in opposition to another. It’s ego boosting to have adversaries. It’s insulting to find that your position is simply not important to another.

Tiny Dragons

Just a quick couple sketches from a couple pics sent my way by a guy I know. Watercolor’s fun only I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with it. Feel’s like I’m pretending it’s cheap thin acrylic instead of it’s own medium. Gotta work on that.