Musings on Photography

Shows

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Butzi on November 12, 2006


Way, way back in 1996, I was thrilled to get work into my first show. I was happy to be preparing. I was happy when the prints went up, and I was sad when the prints came down.

Since then I’ve had work in dozens of shows. Most of them were a whirlwind of happiness alternated with panic, terminated by a firm conclusions that “I’ll NEVER do that again”. And then, a few months later, I’d be back at the beginning of the cycle again.

Things got better when I decided that I would aim for one show per year, and I’d just assemble a show out of what I’d done during the past year. That eliminates the panic part, although there’s often a last minute hysterical call to a friend to borrow frames, or mat board. But the crunch of getting the work done is now spread across the year. And sometimes, show opportunities drop in my lap, and I just take a few prints, frame them, and hand them over. No muss, no fuss.

But I still have the love/hate relationship with shows. I love seeing completed work on the walls. I hate mounting, matting, and framing a pile of prints. I like the thrill of delivering prints, but I hate artist’s receptions. I like the feeling of accomplishment I get from getting it all done. But no matter how efficient I get, after the show, I end up thinking it wasn’t worth the time, effort, and cost of mounting the show. It takes a few months before I can look back and see that the yearly show provides motivation I’d otherwise be lacking.

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  1. Karl Zipser said, on November 13, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    I always find shows to be a good impetus for work. Lately I’ve been working primarily on commission. This is also a great way to get motivated. But I miss the celebration feeling of having a show.


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