Day Job features works selected through an open call to artists currently in The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program. Rather than subscribing to the idea that non-artistic work is by definition disruptive to an artist’s practice, Day Job looks at the ways in which the information, skills, ideas, working conditions, or materials encountered in the work world can become a source of influence. The exhibition also addresses the ways in which contemporary artists support themselves in an economic climate that often demands particularly diverse and flexible solutions to staying afloat. Comprised of work by 21 artists, the exhibition looks at the relationship between an artist’s “day job” and his or her creative practice. Although the term “day job” may be cast as something that steals time and focus from an artist’s practice, a generative relationship can also exist. Rather than subscribing to the idea that having a job is by definition disruptive, Day Job looks at the ways in which the information, skills, ideas, working conditions, or materials encountered on the job can become a source of influence. This presentation explores the ways in which artists relate to and choose their day jobs, or conversely, how one’s job may serve as an impetus for creating artistic work. Preceded by a long history of artists whose creative practice existed in parallel with other jobs, such as Alan Saret, who worked for New York’s Port Authority engineering division; Rosalyn Drexler, a wrestler; Andy Warhol, who worked in advertising and magazine illustration; and Adrian Piper, a philosophy professor, this presentation also provides a window into the myriad ways in which today’s working artists support themselves in an economic climate that often demands diverse and flexible solutions to staying afloat.
Part of the Selections series, this exhibition is curated by Viewing Program Curator Nina Katchadourian.
Day Job was also on view on view at The Freedman Gallery at Albright College from January 26–March 4, 2012 and Pacific Northwest College of Art, Philip Feldman Gallery + Project Space from April 5–May 15, 2012.
Read Drawing Papers 95: Day Job.
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Image: Luis Romero. Selected Fetishes, 2006-2010. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Karen Lennox Gallery, Chicago.