a note to artists on public relations — art happy

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

a note to artists on public relations

today i received an amusing email from an artist who was very upset that i didn't like his recent show.

the show was terrible. this artist was making a rather desperate attempt to be provocative since he clearly peaked years ago and he's doing whatever he can to attempt to stay relevant. i wrote about this experience. i included lots of photos from the show so others could see what i was talking about and provide this artist with free publicity.

this artist doesn't seem to grasp that concept. he's clearly not the brightest guy, not his fault obviously, but still... you'd think that at his ripe age he'd have figured things like this out. his exact words to me were, "There’s an old saying – If you don’t have anything nice to say  - don’t say anything at all. You must be hurting inside right?"


the importance of social media to brands (whether those brands are individuals or companies) is huge. let's just say that if this artist was a brand, he'd be nestle. for someone to not be able to handle reviews that aren't ridiculously glowing is absurd. particularly from an "artist" who should be attempting to provoke reactions, not just desperately cling to praise. seriously... very sad.

so a few words of advice to artists:

a) deal with negative reviews. they're part of the package but they also provide you with publicity. while the writer might not like your work, maybe other readers will.
b) don't write nasty emails to people who spend the time to view your work. it's tacky and will guarantee that these people will remove all prior positive posts about you. simply not smart.
c) when the quality of your work is bad, having your children take part in some very PR-y activity in the centre of the space is not going to do a good enough job of distracting the audience from the fact that your work is crap. make it better. (uh oh! there's photos of your kids all over the internet since you used them for attention!! better make sure everyone takes those down)
d) someone criticizing you work means they spent the time to look at it and didn't only go to the show for the free drinks. although in this case, the drinks were certainly far better than the art. and expressing their views doesn't mean they're "hurting inside" (despite the fact that that's the lie your mother told you when the kids were mean to you at school), it means your work was unimpressive and some bloggers have the integrity to say so instead of kissing ass to get more event invites.
e) get over yourself