Read: 제스 힌쇼 Jess Hinshaw
Jess Hinshaw는 대구를 기반으로 하는 아트매거진[b]racket의 편집장이다. [b]racket 은 무료 매거진으로써 현재 한국에 거주하고 있는 재능있고 활동적인 아티스트들을 소개하면서 대구 지역을 풍요롭게 하는 것에 그 목적을 두고 있다. Angle Magazine은 운이좋게도 Jess Hinshaw의 글을 통해 [b]racket 출간 비하인드 스토리와 한국에서 활동하는 아티스트들이 직면하고 있는 장애물들에 대한 이야기를 들을 수 있었다.
Jess Hinshaw is the Editor-in-chief of [b]racket, a Daegu based art magazine. [b]racket is a free magazine with the intent of enriching communities by showcasing active, talented, and not yet established artists who are currently living in Korea. Angle Magazine is fortunate to have a piece by Jess Hinshaw discussing the reasons behind the creation of [b]racket and some of the obstacles artists face while producing work in Korea.
“Art is a conversation. And if there’s no conversation, what the hell is it about?”
Have you ever walked through a museum and seen a work that you feel is utter garbage? Maybe you saw a Pollack and thought, “What’s the big deal?” Maybe Jeff Koons’ work left you asking the question, “People buy that?” We’ve all commented, “I just don’t get it” when strolling through museums of modern art. And then there’s the ever popular, “My kid could do that!”
Whether you realized it or not, expressing sentiments like this have started a conversation of sorts. Certainly, there are artists whose primary goal is to shock you, but I would argue that most artists don’t make work intending to make the viewer question the quality. Even when this is the case, such as works by Mark Kostabi, all artists desire to have people talking about their work. Whether the work focuses on political commentary, technical proficiency, or art commenting on art, the stuff you see in galleries should spur the old back-and-forth, and pique your interest. If it doesn’t start a conversation, what’s the point?
There was a study in the US that concluded that art makes people better. Not just more creative, but better. Exposure to art can actually reduce bullying and improve tolerance. Art is often on the defensive, continually trying to justify it’s existence and importance in a world so obsessed with commerce. It’s frustrating for an artist, always having to prove that what they do has weight and necessity. But it certainly is necessary, and at the same time, an innate part of us. Lisa Grove, director of the Telfair Museum in Savannah, Georgia, said it very well, “Art is a fundamental part of our DNA as human beings. There has always been a need to create objects that have beauty and go beyond function. It makes us a richer community to celebrate art and to support artists who create art.” Think how much better your walks are when you see a well-designed park with a sculpture in it. Think how much better your walks could be if every one of those walls outlining a new high-rise had colorful paintings on them. The more art that surrounds us the better our lives and environment will be.
The driving force behind the creation of [b]racket was to give young artists a space to share their work and to contribute to a conversation, which will hopefully impact their local environment in a positive manner. There are many galleries and venues in Daegu that seem to exist for the pleasure of the owner, not for the artist. The galleries tend to put more importance on the résumé of an artist, when instead that importance should be placed on the artists’ work. Galleries should be more interested in hearing about what an artist is currently working on and supporting those ideas. The majority of gallery openings only last for one week and in a society that is always so busy, one week does not allow enough time for the public to hear about the opening and to find the time to travel to the gallery. Meanwhile, the openings and shows seem more of a formality than an opportunity for the public to engage with art and become part of the conversation. This current functionality of galleries makes it extremely difficult for an artist to gain exposure. We wanted our magazine to work in a different method.
The pages of [b]racket act as a sort of gallery. Our designer, Chris Cote, lays out the every month’s issue so it’s aesthetic reflects the walls of a gallery. Much like the function of a well operated gallery, [b]racket strives to show artists whose work inspires conversations. It’s inevitable that all of the artists you see in [b]racket won’t be your cup of tea. We aren’t running a popularity contest. We’re giving a venue to serious artists that want to share their work. Maybe it’s overly optimistic, but we hope that some of the art that you see when flipping through these pages from month to month will engage you in some way. [b]racket has that in mind every month and a central impetus behind making it. We sincerely believe that more people should see art and know that it is happening. Art fosters creative thinking. It brightens a day. It should decorate our walls and our public spaces. When art is abundant, society benefits, and we discuss.
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