Contributed by Bonnie Morano / I consider myself an open book. The secret ingredient to my zesty salad dressing is cumin. Avoiding parking tickets in NYC involves a finely worded note on the windshield. But ask me how I get my oil paint to stay so shiny when dry, I hesitate….In this social media age of oversharing, does the aura of the heroic painter today rest on magic and mystery or up front transparency?
Is there an art tax?
Contributed by Bonnie Morano / Years ago, when I first learned about the “pink tax” – the price mark-up on razors, deodorant, shampoo and other products marketed to women – I was outraged. A recent trip to the art supply store had me cursing the $96 price tag for Cad Yellow Deep (it is like a tube of sunshine, though) I wondered whether I was being charged an art tax. Oil paint, of course, is unique, but what about other art necessities? Do art supply stores charge more for materials that can be found elsewhere at lower prices? If so, would it be feasible to curb such price discrimination? After all, California just passed a law banning the pink tax.
Abstraction by the numbers
Contributed by Bonnie Morano / I’m a numbers person. Some say that’s atypical for an artist. But before I began my MFA in painting at Hunter College, I was in the financial world creating Excel spreadsheets. For the Northeast edition of New American Paintings, the springboard publication for emerging artists, 38 out of the 40 artists selected were representational painters. There were two abstract artists in the group – one painter and one artist who crocheted textiles. They accounted for 5% of the total group. I decided to cross reference this stat with the current MFA student directory at Hunter, 113 artists strong. Of that cohort, 53 chose a concentration in painting when they were accepted. The split between representation and abstraction was almost even. Why then was the New American Paintings finalist selection so skewed towards representation?