NEW YORK — Painter Guy Stanley Philoche, a star in the New York art world, had wanted to treat himself to a fancy watch after a hugely successful gallery show. Then the pandemic hit, and he feared for all the struggling artists who haven’t been so lucky.
So he gave up his $15,000 Rolex dreams and went on a different kind of buying spree, putting out a call on Instagram in late March to any artist anywhere who had creations to sell. The submissions rolled in, hundreds at a time.
He’s spent about $60,000 so far with plans to continue as long as he can, and Philoche’s own patrons have taken notice and asked him to make purchases on their behalf as well.
“It’s about artists helping artists,” said the 43-year-old Philoche, who came to America from Haiti with his family at age 3, nearly nothing to their names.
“I’m not a rich man,” he said, “but I owe a big debt to the art world. Art saved my life, and I made a promise to myself that once I made it, to always buy from artists who hadn’t gotten their big break.”
Philoche has a budget, seeking out works in the $300 to $500 range. He buys only what he loves, from as far away as London and as close as the studio next to his in East Harlem. An abstract mixed-media piece by Michael Shannon, his studio neighbour, was his first purchase, leading Philoche to include him and others he’s discovered in an upcoming group gallery show.
About half the artists Philoche has chosen are people he knows, many in New York. The others sent him direct messages on Instagram with sample work in hopes of being picked.
Philoche, who went to art school in Connecticut where his family settled, has lined the walls of his tiny apartment with his Philoche Collection During Covid, ranging from graffiti-inspired work and portraiture to pop art and a huge pistol done in bright yellow, red and blue paint.
Philoche’s own work goes for up to $125,000 a piece. During a recent interview at his studio, he slid out from storage large canvases from his breakthrough, Mark Rothko-esque abstract Untitled Series and a collection of female nudes with duct tape over their mouths. Often whimsical, he has also produced paintings inspired by Monopoly and other board games, as well as comics such as Charlie Brown.
Among his clients: Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Barclay Investments Inc., along with Uma Thurman, George Clooney and fellow artist Julian Schnabel.
Giving back isn’t something the affable Philoche just recently decided to do. Over his 20-plus year career, he has tried to stick to a simple rule to support other artists: Sell a painting, buy a painting. But it was a chance meeting with a friend and fellow artist who was anxious about the pandemic with a baby on the way that set him on his pandemic buying spree.
“I’m not on the first line, but my community was impacted as well,” he said. “It was just the right thing to do. I love waking up in my apartment every morning seeing the walls. There’s paintings on the floor, all over. Some of these people have never sold a painting in their life.”
His feisty French bulldog Picasso at his side, Philoche recalled his own meagre start in New York after he put himself through art school while working full-time as a bartender.
“People didn’t open the doors for me. I had to get into the room through the back door, or through the window,” he said with a laugh. “But now that I’m in the room, with a seat at the table, I have to open doors for these artists.”
Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Online art course with Adrian Baker – Millstone News
NEW! Appleton Studio – online ‘ART MENTORING’ course
Instructor: Adrian Baker, BFA, MFA
Want to keep making art this winter, but could use a little guidance? I’m offering personal feedback sessions by email, one-on-one online meetings, and online group feedback sessions. Work on your own projects in your choice of medium, under the guidance of a professional artist. Receive valuable feedback from your peers. Flexible scheduling to suit your routine.
‘Art Mentoring’ runs from the week of January 18th to March 26 (choose your own times/days).
Cost is $180
What you get:
– Weekly personal assessment of your current art project via email, with constructive critiques and professional guidance. (eight sessions)
– One-on-one online meetings to discuss the progress of your work (six sessions)
– Online group feedback sessions with fellow participants (two sessions)
– Regular links to online painting tutorials relevant to your work.
What you do:
– Choose a project to work on in your choice of medium. Your first email session can be a discussion of what to paint, how to get started, colour & compositional decisions, etc.
– Photograph your artwork regularly as it progresses over the ten weeks and send the pictures by email for feedback from the instructor, for a total of eight email instructional sessions.
– Schedule six one-on-one meetings with instructor over the 10-week period (schedule of available days/times will be provided)
– Participate in two online group critiques (coffee, tea or wine are optional!)
– Have fun! Be creative! Keep on making art!
I am accepting a limited number of participants, so let me know asap if you are interested.
Are phone skills a lost art? Time to get back to basics say East Coast Experts – TheChronicleHerald.ca
The family phone used to be a hot commodity and phone time a valuable resource.
Waiting until evening rates to place a long-distance phone call to a friend or family member could easily take up a Saturday night. But these days, a person can reach virtually everyone they know instantly, with a few swipes of their fingertips.
Smartphones and technology have ushered in an age of texting, emailing, and messaging communication within both personal and professional aspects of many people’s lives. And with these forms of communication, there’s less need for speaking person-to-person over a voice call.
But this doesn’t mean the phone is on its way out, even if people might be finding increasing anxiety around phone calls, according to Mary Jane Copps, whose professional business, The Phone Lady, fosters connections between people and phone conversations.
Even if video calls are the new fad, Copps says voices are still what brings people together.
“The medium may change as technology continues evolving, but phone and voice calls are here to stay,” she says.
Copps says comedian Jerry Seinfeld wasn’t kidding when he quoted a statistic in a stand-up routine that said people feared public speaking more than death itself. She says this feeling is one that many now equate with phone calls.
She says anxiety around phone calls is due to people now being used to the delay that comes with texting or email.
“We can edit and think about it – we don’t have to think of an answer off the top of our head,” she says. “For some people, there’s anxiety around what they see as a performance part of a real-time conversation.”
But even with that anxiety, Dalhousie University communications researcher and professor Dr. Binod Sundararajan says people are still gravitating towards the personal connection that voice provides, pointing to the prevalence of voice message exchanges in smartphone messaging apps.
“People still crave a synchronous connection – a real-time conversation – so they video chat or send voice recordings back and forth on apps like WhatsApp,” he says.
It’s because it lacks voice that Sundararajan says email and texting are “terrible” forms of communication beyond simple exchanges, as they cannot effectively convey true emotion.
And with the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, an empathetic voice on the other end of the phone could be exactly what is needed to relieve said stress, even if feelings of anxiety precede that call.
“There is so much uncertainty these days. The last thing someone should worry about is how to interpret communication, so asynchronous phone call is the thing that can best alleviate anxiety around this,” he says.
Phones at work
The importance of tone and inflection in the voice, whether virtual or over a phone conversation, is something Copps says plays a key role in professional interactions, even with the advent of video conferencing.
Copps says the past year has shown there are many distractions during virtual meetings that cause those in attendance to miss something or lose their ability to pay attention. While a 15-minute phone call can be “lovely,” she says, a one-hour one is often the opposite.
“Being on camera is exhausting for us,” says Copps. “A lot of people turn off cameras and listen, which is the same as a phone call.”
With phone calls still making up a significant amount of business communication, especially as people work from home, Sundararajan says proper phone etiquette – and specifically knowing how to communicate effectively and empathetically – is as important as written communication.
“Being professional doesn’t mean being cold and aloof – you can have empathy and warmth and still be professional,” he says. “A good phone call goes miles in making people feel respected, acknowledged, and listened to.”
Call it personal
It’s the allure of voice that means phone calls continue to be an important form of communication, according to Dalhousie University communications associate professor and researcher Dr. Kathleen Kevany, who says voice calls, like radio, are often more intimate than video media.
“Voice alone demands more of us, requires more interaction and imagination … and we like to activate our imagination. It’s why people listen to the radio or read a book,” she says.
This is why Kevany says a phone call remains the most effective and personal way to check in with loved ones and friends, something she says has become critical as COVID-19 keeps many people apart.
“We are in a time of isolation, so the more human connection we can foster, the better for our own wellbeing and others. Reaching out, picking up the phone, and calling someone can make a difference in their day and is much more memorable than receiving a text,” she says.
Sundararajan says the pandemic is perhaps the best example of why people need to fight for the phone and reconnect with feeling comfortable around using it, both personally and professionally. He says the same goes for people receiving a call, who must listen and respect the person who’s reached out.
“Yes it appears that calling someone on the phone is disappearing and yes, we should fight to retain that,” he says.
Connecting younger generations
Feeling comfortable on the phone is something Sundararajan and Copps say young people need to start mastering, as it’s crucial to succeeding in the job market.
Sundararajan says as the first phase of a job interview is often a phone or video call, the skill is critical to landing a job.
Copps has also seen a huge increase in her business since the fall in training professionals in phone communication. She says this is due partially to a lack of phone skills in today’s young professionals.
“Big companies are all really clear that soft skills are the most important thing they now look for, above education. Communication is part of that and it’s something we need to be teaching to kids,” she says.
Kevany, who teaches her students about public speaking and verbal communication, says humans have always felt a great sense of confidence in communicating until faced with presenting. Like presenting, phone calls are a skill she says comes down to practice.
“You learn knowledge, but you cultivate a skill. That goes for public speaking and it also goes for phone calls,” she says.
There is only one way to overcome a fear of the phone, according to Copps.
“You’ve got to pick up the phone and make the call,” she says.
Trump’s Arts Record, Oval Office Replicas, a Museum Vaccination Site, and More: Morning Links from January 18, 2020 – ARTnews
WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP SET TO LEAVE OFFICE IN ABOUT 48 HOURS, reporter Graham Bowley revisited the president’s repeated proposals to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. “The agency survived, its budget even grew a bit, not because President Trump ever wavered in his view of it as a waste of federal dollars,” Bowley writes in the New York Times, “but because Congress . . . voted to keep it alive.” Of course, the N.E.A.’s annual budget of $167.5 million (for 2021) is still modest compared to other sources of arts funding, he writes. For instance, New York City alone spends more each year on its cultural affairs. Meanwhile, in the San Francisco Chronicle, Denise Sullivan takes a look at the history of president’s supporting arts in an article that stops with President Obama.
SPEAKING OF THE WHITE HOUSE, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is set to enter the Oval Office on Wednesday. If you are not on the shortlist to serve in his administration, but eager to experience the Oval, the New-York Historical Society has just the ticket: it built a replica of the storied space as part of a permanent exhibition titled “Meet the Presidents” last year. Marci Reaven, the vice president of history exhibits at the NYHS, talked with the Art Newspaper about how president’s have customized the room’s decor. Their choices, she said, reflect, “Who am I? Who are we as a people? Who am I as a leader?” Some may recall that photographer Thomas Demand also once built an Oval Office replica out of humble materials like cardboard and confetti to create works for a 2008 Times Magazine story. The room is “tinier than you might think,” he told the Independent in 2009.
Many art museums have been hiring diversity leaders in recent years. Here’s a look at the work they have been doing. [The New York Times]
The Castello di Rivoli museum, near Turin, Italy, will serve as a coronavirus vaccination site. “Art has always helped, healed, and cured—indeed, some of the first museums in the world were hospitals,” its director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, said in a statement. “Now we are repaying the favor, so to speak.” [Artforum]
The critic and law professor Yxta Maya Murray discussed her new novel, Art Is Everything, with Maximilíano Durón. “I have found at various points in my life that in order to make work that you have to sacrifice certain things that might be very important to you,” she said. [ARTnews]
The breakout painter Salman Toor was profiled as part of a package of “a dozen of the most creative artists and entertainers working today.” [WSJ. Magazine]
Jorge Pardo’s carriage house in Bushwick, Brooklyn, got the Architectural Digest treatment. [AD]
Canada has an Indigenous-language television channel for the first time: Uvagut TV, which carries programming in Inuktut. [Inuit Art Quarterly]
Sinclair Spratley considered the invisible labor, performed largely by people of color, that was responsible for cleaning the U.S. Capitol after the January 6 riot. [Art in America]
Venture inside Carrie Stettheimer’s famed dollhouse, guided by Johanna Fateman. [4Columns]
Here are the 10 most expensive Old Master artworks ever sold at auction. [ARTnews]
In a conversation published in a new column by Vanessa Friedman, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the co-directors of Prada, discussed the fashion industry, money, the creative process, Zoom, and this period of crisis. “The one lesson I think fashion will not learn from this, which is the one it should learn, if I am being brutally honest, is that it should be less greedy,” Simons said. “It became too much this economic machine. For the majority the first desire is economic growth. Everyone just had less growth, so everyone is going to try to catch up.” [The New York Times]
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