Man Bartlett

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On Working Harder

#class

So I just read up on Alexa Meade, who has gotten a ton of press recently. Which is super awesome. As it turns out, she is in a group show with William Powhida (and others) at Postmasters a week from today. Again, awesome. Except that the opening (April 2nd) is the same night as my opening at Flux Factory.

Why am I blogging about this? Well, at first I saw this as a threat, but after a few brief moments of feeling like a victim, I began thinking about what (more) I want to create. What I want and have to say. And just like that four new ideas for projects came to me. If they ever go anywhere is not the point. They are good ideas. There IS room, if I make it. I share this because part of this empowerment I gained from attending panels and events at #class over the past month.* I also want there to be a certain level of transparency in my life, my studio practice, and my career.



Earlier tonight I caught up on some of the recent Jerry Saltz FB threads on Artists and what we “CAN’T AVOID DOING” (caps are Saltz’s). That what we do is “HELPLESS AND UNAVOIDABLE.” And in order to be a [great] artist, we must give up EVERYTHING. Saltz is quoting/paraphrasing Jasper Johns here to great personal affect. The majority of the comments confirmed just that for me.

… 

Regardless of who shleps to Long Island City for Systema Mundi on Friday, I will be there. Working. I will put on the greatest possible show I can put on. With the best work I have. There are always too many things going on at the same moment in this city. But honestly, part of me is bummed I can’t also be at Postmasters on Friday.

A few months ago I made a resolution to myself to be the hardest working artist under 30. I am putting my faith that behind that hard work is something to say. I will let others be the judge of that. But you can rest assured that I am here. Working. Blessed. Full of Joy. Willing and grateful to dedicate my life to this. For you, for me, and for EVERYTHING. Because I have to.  

Love,
Man 


More on #class soon. I’m still gathering my bigger picture thoughts on the show. It’s a very large bag with mixed emotions. Most of them extremely positive.