origianlly posted sep. '21
Pictured above are stills from the Brian Drake artist video of last nights studio walkthrough. In a previous post, I wrote that I was thinking about formal wear for my next presentation. While this is certainly not that, I did choose a vintage ruffled tuxedo shirt in polyester from eBay and a vintage Lanvin tie. Yes, I look like its the 23rd hour of a Jerry Lewis Telethon. And yes, it got just as emotional. But, like the last time, this 'aint about my wardrobe choices.

Bring The Passion
There is no doubt that I care deeply about my work and the statement my pieces make. I want the viewer to feel that. My hand is an extension of that care and passion. Every drop of my ability is in this work. From the hand built structure, shop made hanging mechanisms, to the paper and pigment on the panel, it's all me. The BBN work can be quite visceral in that respect. Unfortunately it can be lost on those who cant stand and touch or view the piece in person. There is a lot of nuance, shadow and detail lost in online video. Making matters more difficult, if a viewer is just "ho-hum" about the work, no visceral "touchy feely" experience is going to overcome the lack of connection. Well ...

No collector wants to buy commoditized robot art, made for the masses. That's for Ikea and mall poster shops. Buyers want passion. They want a reason the art exists, beyond it looking pretty next to the sofa. However, my art tends to be didactic and based in the realities of nuance of human effort, not just human emotion. There can be a veil of intellectualism that can serve as a block to emotional connections. It can be a challenge to get the viewer to connect. At first, the BBN work is bold and can command attention on a gallery wall. Looking deeper, is where questions begin. In the end, I have to walk a fine line with a buyer, probing what motivates their interest and collecting habits, without getting in the weeds about the deep story behind the actual piece in question. Its like a first date. You want to to look good and be charming, saving all the little details about why you are what you are for, the next time. Connect the passion to story. The rest will come in time.

When you have people engaging, debating and arguing the merits of a piece, thats a win. It doesn't get any better than that. In fact, if you ask about my best collectors, thats how our relationships began. Probing, evocative, contentious and rousing debate about value, perception, geo politics, ideology, doctrine and everything in between. That kind of discourse has led to real buyer commitment, for the long haul. Remember that post in July about buyers I've never heard from again? We never had that kind of dialog. Just the typical "yeah its nice and it is going to be great... thanks!" Sure the money spends the same, but that's about it. Not very compelling and not very satisfying. In some ways I would much rather have never sold them to such "ho hum, whatever" buyers. But like I wrote then, a lot of that is on me.

Wrap Up
Bring your passion at every point of contact, when talking about your art. Be bold and be big about it. Let them know why it is important and why you made the decisions you made. Don't be afraid to tackle big issues, beit social or emotional. Have a point of view that you can not only defend but champion. Put that into your work and be able to tell it's story standing next to it. If you do that, and you are in front of the right audience, you cant go wrong. It is that simple. Dressing like you are on a 1980's telethon well ...thats just for fun.