Antiques 12-4-2010

I only saw two pieces today. Both are glass, one Roman glass from between 100-200 BC, the other glass beads but I am unsure of the age. The Roman glass was impressive. I didn’t get a lot of information on it as it isn’t Japanese and even though it is beautiful I have less interest in it.

On the way to the antiques shop I passed a temple that had a Bizen show in it. The work is by Akiyama Bokuho. While I was writing yesterday’s post on my Kintetsu show I did some research on some potters in Japan, Mihara Ken to be exact. Reading what people have to say about him would lead someone less enamored with the money = gallery world = money scene to think he is the next coming. I do like his work but also know there are a lot of great artists that are not picked up by galleries. In fact as I was thinking about it today I equated being picked up and promoted  by a gallery to getting a ‘lifetime’ job with a big company. They both are secure as long as you perform. If the production falls off you are liable to be transferred to a subsidiary in both cases.

I was very impressed with Akiyama’s work. It stands on its own. It has presence and is nice to look at. The figures attached to slabs are large. The slabs are about 2 meters tall. Cheap too, about 130,000 yen each. The stack of what looks like sticks is made up of sticks of ceramic that are assembled on site.  I also respect and feel a little relieved that he makes all the slabs that make up some of his work out of hand made, pounded, slabs. The alternative would be using a machine to produce them. I am not against machines but it is nice to see someone else endorse the idea that the process is important. Akiyama himself is a good looking fellow, slim. He was dressed in an  all black kimono. The standout was his hands. They caught my eye immediately. They are thick and hands that can only belong to someone who has put in long hours doing physical work.

I have been trying to figure out how to divide my time this coming year. How many art fairs to do, how much to concentrate on the Internet to sell my work, etc. I am going to give galleries a break in 2011. Seeing the show today only made me feel better about that. I think Akiyama’s work stands up and can hold its own. I am also pretty sure he will go home with almost no sales if not no sales. It is a problem of finding an audience.


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2 Responses to “Antiques 12-4-2010”

  1. bill geisinger Says:

    lovely roman piece thanks for the photos, yes I’m impressed by Akiyama’s slabs he must have incredible machines to assist in moving them in and out of the kiln I’d like to observe his process.

    Yet I am more impressed by your thoughts “I equated being picked up and promoted by a gallery to getting a ‘lifetime’ job with a big company. They both are secure as long as you perform. If the production falls off you are liable to be transferred to a subsidiary in both cases”.

    Its an interesting concept to think about the art world as a big company! Galleries take lots of energy to keep them working for you. Doing it their way can sometimes be difficult to swallow. I find I have to move on and find a different gallery sometimes. This is also similar to taking a giant step backwards.

    It is truly finding an audience and promotion of your work. many people are very good at it and many are not. Yet those that continue promotion, either through a gallery or individually one day at a time eventually succeed. Those that do not promote regularly eventually fade into the haze. Its interesting to compare Japan and the US marketing similarities and differences. I would like to do it in writing someday maybe this would help me figure out which steps to take to be a better promoter or help me select galleries that would do a better job. Maybe not!

  2. togeii Says:

    Hello Bill,
    I agree finding an audience and promotion are central. That and not giving up from frustration in the meantime.

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