In 2009 the New Museum put together an incredible show called Younger Than Jesus</em>, that show looked at the work of artists under the age of 33. The idea of the show was to examine artists work at the beginning of their careers. Here in Denver at Robischon Gallery did the same show called it EVEN Younger Than Jesus, I don’t recall a nod to the title of the ground breaking show in New York in the local media, I am sure that the folks at that fine gallery were aware of the YTJ show at the New Museum. But the work in that show was fun to see, not on the same level as the work I saw in New York.
That being said, some folks in Boston have put together a fantastic show called the Boston Young Contemporaries, rather looking at age as a determining factor for the stage of an artist in their career, this show looked at the work and if they were in an MFA program. Tim Winn is an artist whose work is featured in the show, Tim Winn is in his 40’s, a former restaurant owner who jumped into an MFA program and dove into making some fantastic wild and wonderful drawings, sculpture work that is funny and creepy all at once. Does his age have anything to do with the intensity of his work or where he is at in his career?
What makes an artist emerging? What are they emerging from, what makes them young, because I think the age of an artist is not relevant, more concern should be put upon what the artist is communicating is the communication effective.
I think as a visual artist I am just beginning, I just turned 41 on July 18th, I had never thought about being an artist seriously until I turned 30, but I had always made things ( or rather things had manifest themselves through me ). I got a divorce in 2008 while in my first year of MFA school, from 2008 till 2010 it was the hardest time of my adult life, but I kept making things, I kept making everyday, and I feel like it won’t be until I reach my 60’s that I really start hitting my stride, to really start working with a rich vocabulary to communicate my ideas. I have so much that I want to say with my work, so much that I want to share with others, so much I want to leave behind when I die. Emerging happens everyday, as long as we are still breathing there is hope.
Emergence can be said to arise from fundamental entities, so it might be said that an emergent artist arises from a more established artist, that the work is mimetic or reductive of another artist’s work. Emergent properties require emergent attributes. Do such things exist? In calling an artist emergent are we reducing that artist to attributes of other artists work or other attributes related to that work, be historical or medium based ? The use of the word emergence to describe an artist whose work is unknown has been overly simplified to suggest that the only attribute to really consider is age, which seems to me frivolous, shallow and quite short sided. As a culture we value youth, there is mythology that is held up out of a desire, I believe, for monetary gain, to constantly find the newest new thing.
The Boston Young Contemporaries show I am not sure how their curatorial processed worked in regards to selection, but it can be said that their choice of artists the age of artist was not taken into account, the word young means where that artists is in their career, which in the end I think is far more interesting then the age of the artist.