The last two Gallery Tours have been a great way for me to explore the Amsterdam Art world. I have realized that there is no end to the number of galleries and artists that populate the city. It’s quite overwhelming, really… and I could spend ages and ages touring about, learning about other artists, following their work, which is super fun to think of as my next job, but the locomotion of my brain got stuck during our recent vacation to Morocco. I kept getting the urge to set aside the tours as possible job idea to JUST paint, mostly this urge came from capturing images like this:
Everywhere I looked in Morocco I could see a painting waiting to happen. In my abstract work, I have never worked from photographs, but on this vacation I kept seeing what abstraction would look like from color drenched scenes around me. Come on, the image below pretty much paints itself.
I know I can get completely wrapped up in making a Gallery Tour business plan, but is this just a way to keep me from doing my own art? Yes, I had to get existential while drinking Rose with Dave in Morocco - and, like most of my existential questioning, came to no conclusions. So, for the moment, let’s put aside all the career puzzling and think instead of what would happen if I used these Moroccan images directly in my work?
This line of musing brings me right on into the work of Zannah Noe. I have known Zannah now for about fifteen years, if not more. I have seen her many faces; master chef, artist advocate and even a bookkeeper, but all the fantastic, often feathered, hats she’s donned through the years have all pointed jauntily back to her own art - she’s an artist and will be until the day she dies.
A couple of years ago, Zannah took a leap, she put down all the hats to pursue art 100%. She jumped in her van, Foxy Brown, and launched American Bones - capturing the ever changing, possibly disappearing Americana in photographs and paintings. The one below is called “Austin Roadie in Marfa Texas” (22x22 inches, oil on canvas).
With her strong background in photography, Noe’s paintings abstract her images into thrilling compositions. Yes, this is direct abstraction, and she does it well because she’s worked hard at it. As I keep watching her progress, I see nothing more than a continued dedication to her form and function as an artist - this is what she’s here to do, and its damn hard work.
To be a successful artist requires being a successful entrepreneur. You’ve gotta work and promote yourself and your product all the time, and once more, get others to promote it. And do they teach you that at art school, assuming you’ve even been to art school? I doubt it, but what do I know, I didn’t go to art school because I was told art was a hobby and that math was better for finding a job, yeah, a job that I am not really that into, hurrah.
When I look at the concept of painting all the time and making a living at it, I see the same challenge as I do with developing any business - it takes a consistent solid focus and a shit ton of marketing - neither of which I have in spades… but what I do have is some talent at making art, a desire to do it and someone close in my life who’s done it before me. No, I don’t have a Foxy Brown, but as role-models go, Zannah Noe ain’t bad at all, so thank you universe for that.
Will I make a living as an Artist? Who knows but the only way to start is to have a product to promote, without that there’s no point. Okay, that’s a fine place to begin. Anyone have an easel?
In the meantime, there’s no dropping the gallery exploration and I am refining what I would like for the next tour. It’s time to get off the map, so I want to not use the AKKA Map and scour Amsterdam for the small, artist Co-Op type of galleries. If you have recommendations, send them along - Hi@PetraBenach.com.