What Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential did for the world of chefs and restaurants, Making It does for the art world.
Making It is a gonzo memoir of an established artist crossed with objective advice, tips and tricks fleshed out by a best-selling art historian and Pulitzer finalist writer on art. It peels back the shroud and reveals the highs and struggles in the life and career of a working artist.
Specifically aimed at aspiring artists and art students, it will be of interest to anyone who wants to know what it is like to have an artist’s-eye-view of the art world, asking the tough and often glossed-over questions that rising artists inevitably have, not only about the creative process, but about navigating the turbulent waters of the social, professional, academic, critical, museum and trade elements of a career as a visual artist.
How best to deal with the abundance of alcohol, drugs and sex while wire-walking your own artistic dilemmas? How can an artist launch his or her career and help it flourish? What’s it like to achieve every artist’s dream, including showing at the Venice Biennale? What does it really mean to "make it" and how can you maintain your groove once you’ve arrived?
All these questions and more are answered in this combination tell-all memoir and how-to manual for rising artists and anyone wanting a behind-the-scenes tour of what it’s like to be an artist.
JAŠA (Jaša Mrevlje-Pollak) at age 43 is one of the most prolific and influential contemporary European visual artists of his generation. He trained at the Academy in Venice (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia), where he graduated in 2004 with distinction and where he continues to teach. He has been featured in numerous publications, including Modern Painters, The Art Newspaper and Art in America. Based in Ljubljana and New York, his work has been exhibited around the world, including at Frieze London and New York and at the Venice Biennale. Learn more atwww.jasha.org.
Noah Charney is an internationally best-selling author of more than a dozen books and a professor of art history specializing in art crime. His novel, The Art Thief, was a bestseller in five countries and is translated into 17 languages. His The Art of Forgery, Stealing the Mystic Lamb and Slovenology were international bestsellers. His book Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
He appears occasionally as a television presenter, with shows for BBC, National Geographic, among many others, and is in demand as a speaker, having been a finalist to be a TED Fellow and with recent talks at the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is currently writing a television series for HBO Europe, and writes regularly for the Guardian, the Washington Post, Salon, the Observer, and many other top magazines and newspapers. Trained in art history at The Courtauld Institute, Cambridge University, and University of Ljubljana, Charney has taught for many years, for Yale and Brown University, and in Cambridge, Florence, Rome, and Ljubljana. Charney is now a professor of art history at the American University of Rome and at University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, where Charney has lived for many years.
Introduction: Career Making vs Making Art
1 On Origins and Early Years: Is it true that the greatest art emerges from unhappiness and dysfunction?
2 The Making of the Artist:How do I choose between “real life” and schooling?
3 At the Academy:How soon do I need to find my style?
4 First Shows and Entering the Art Scene: How quickly and how should I show my work?
5 Young Artist 101:How do I survive in my early years?
6 Money, Art, Sex: How do I navigate the triumphs and pitfalls?
7 Shifting to a Bigger Stage” How can I get into a museum of contemporary art through the back door?
8 Behind the Venice Biennale: How do you judge the success, from the external point of view, of your exhibit?
“The reason we create is to make a legacy that will outlive us, to reach those who might never meet us,” writes artist Jaša in his debut work, an earnest reference guide for aspiring professional artists. With the help of art historian Charney, Jaša touches upon a wide range of subjects, including where to find inspiration, how to exhibit work, and the mindset one should have when deciding to seriously pursue a career in art. Along the way, a number of maxims are doled out. Concerning art school: “Do not mistake life and success at art school for life and success outside of it.” Another grounding lesson is how the medium will always be lucrative, if only for a select few. “The market is ruled by those with big bucks... almost all of that money goes to a tiny percentage of artists.” As a general how-to guide, the work offers indispensable advice; however, its wisdom is still highly subjective. The real strength resides in the autobiographical accounts, as when Jaša recounts the personal highs and lows he’s encountered in an industry that only offers “just a few minutes to demonstrate that you’re worth more.” Written with a dry wit and heartfelt emotion, this will appeal to Jaša’s fans and those dreaming of a career in art.
A smashing story of how an artist never stops working, always keeps moving, doesn’t allow rejection to define him, and who makes art that finds large audiences against all odds. An every-artist story.
Making It: The Artist Survival Guide is a book every true artist cannot but love. It is, of course, impossible to condense the complex process of creativity into the form of “making it” guides which provide ready-made formulas for success, love life, getting friends, etc. – but for this very reason one should do it. This book gives you the freedom to follow its proposals or to mock them – to mock the rules, the rules should be there. If you do not need a “making it” guide for your work, you are not an original creative genius, you are an idiot.
Wittily written as an autobiography, this book is a useful guide for any aspiring artist looking to navigate and engage the professional artworld. Through the conceptual lens and story of an acclaimed performance artist, it provides valuable insight into the machinations of the business, critical and social implications of this career path, leaving no stone unturned.
Part Kurt Cobain, part Charles Bukowski, part Art school confidential, a 1990s journey through legend and reality from the Venice canals to the gutter and back again. JAŠA is Virgil to the Dante that is any young artist: guide and sage.
JAŠA's book has perfect timing as we emerge from a kind of historical hell where art and metaphysics now have a restored powerful role to play. The promising young need all the wit and support that they can muster to continue the pleasures of the great journey of modernism.
In the form of a guide on how to become an artist and still survive, in a playful and easy digestible way JAŠA and Noah Charney present the nature of contemporary art, and provide the signposts for young people. In times of lack of confidence in didactics and authorities, facing depletion and break-up of existing culture paradigm, they get to the heart of the issue, that art is not a profession, nor a hobby, but a specific condition rather, state of existence, an endless process consisting of a combination of dreams, doubts, successes, failures and hopes.