My thank you note to Manifest




Just sent this off to Jason Franz and crew in Cincinnati. I know it’s a little suspect to praise a gallery for showing high-quality work when you’re own stuff is in the mix. But they’re doing more than just picking good work, and they do it in their own unique way. As I’ve said before, I wish they’d clone themselves as Manifest franchises in a lot of other cities. Even if I keep saying that, I’m sure it won’t happen.

I loved INPA 2, both as a writer and a painter. You included samples of both my writing and my painting, so this edition of the book serves as a validating way for me to introduce people what I’m doing in both areas. Your publications work the way your exhibitions do. They give artists an opportunity to have their work shown alongside some of the best art being made nationally and internationally–without any reference to whether or not it sells or hews to any particular trend or critical school. The fact that the work you select for everything you do is usually less than ten percent of what’s submitted for possible inclusion–and also that your selections are based on the review of a committee rather than one or two jurors–authenticates the Manifest “brand” in a way that’s hard to find in other juried shows open to nearly anyone who makes art. I’m always pleased when I’m able to participate in anything Manifest puts together because its an honor to be selected from among a pool of such worthy art. Your shows and publications strike me as a rare way for people to find work that’s excellent but possibly overlooked by the usual gatekeepers: academia, museums, commercial galleries, commercial art publications, and the mainstream market in general. I also have the sense that Manifest cares about championing art that can communicate with the art world’s equivalent of what has been called, or at least used to be called, in the world of publishing, the “common reader.” The shows are always sophisticated, but they also seem to be driven by an ideal of reaching as large a public as possible–the common viewer if you will–rather than an elite group of initiates (insofar as it’s possible to do that with the way visual art has evolved in the past hundred years).

 The INPA2 book itself is wonderfully made. The materials are the highest quality, as is the binding, the reproductions and color fidelity. Thanks once again for allowing me to participate.
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