Fabricators, Funders, And Fixers

June 25,2018

Source: Matt Terrell, Saporta Report

Art is not created in a vacuum. There is perhaps no more malicious myth than that of the lone wolf artistic genius, squirreled away is some studio far away from civilization, sending their wares into the world. It’s true that some of the great artists of the 20th century, like Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko, enjoyed their privacy, but even their work was not created in a vacuum. There are gallerists, collectors, curators, and many more people who (in one way or another) influence what work we see from artists, and how we see it. In our 21st century artistic landscape, creative production requires more people than ever before to bring work to fruition. Funders, fabricators, and fixers can all influence the final form of a piece of contemporary art.

I’d like to show you how I recently made a piece of art, and in doing so demystify the ways art is produced. I’m currently running a public art series called “We All Live With HIV” where I install reflective letters in store-front windows with this message. The idea is that viewers literally see themselves in this message and reflect on their role in stopping HIV. This was a simple idea, but one that required a lot of help from other people: Funder, fabricator, and fixer. Let me show you how they helped me bring this work to life.

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My fixer was Alena Green at Central Atlanta Progress. For my installation, I needed empty storefront locations in downtown to place my work. I lacked the connections or capacity to track down property owners and negotiate installations. Alena, as a project manager in economic development for Central Atlanta Progress, saw the possibility for my work to enliven areas of downtown. She contacted property owners downtown and helped convince them to take on my work. As an artist, I don’t speak the language of real estate and business development. I needed a fixer who did, and could bring my work to life.  

Read the complete article at the link above.