Give up your name and gain true artistic freedom

Your name is perhaps the most valuable property of any person, and especially artists. And that is the problem.

I don’t think it’s a revelation that the vast majority of us will “play it safe” (more or less) with our work – but have you ever tried to create art work under a pseudonym? It is fabulously liberating and releases the stress and hesitancy when approaching a new series of work – you own ego is not invested in it.

There are lots of writers who do this of course, but I suspect there are many visual artists out there who are fictional. In fact, I have been involved with a couple of  “fake artist” projects and know of a few more. You might be surprised by who … but that is for another post and is different from what I am urging – the thrill of creating a series of work you would never create as yourself. Go for it – you’ll enjoy it the first time or even again. Create a tumblr blog and throw the work up there and see what reactions are to it. If people like it, then you can steal from yourself and confound future generations of art historians.

With the ALP video reviews, I am playing a character – sometimes a goof, sometimes a critic, sometimes as quiet as possible. I took myself out from in front of the camera to allow myself and my co-hosts and interviewees to feel more comfortable and to a large extent it has worked. But I am going to try a short series of animated art reviews with a fictional character “Alpy” who incorporates many traits of many different people I have met here in Toronto as well as some stereotypes we all love to share about the art world. It reflects nicely in a way the current crisis of populist faith that big media art critics are experiencing right now – art writers are being replaced by bloggers and the word is being replaced by a thousand video stills.

Here it is – made with a nifty little “text-to-animation” beta program called State. It’s pretty rough and glitchy at the moment, but I love working with tools like that. And i get to write and create characters, which is super fun.

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