Monday, March 7, 2011

Silvia Poloto - a conversation with the artist

After I wrote my post about the upcoming art to be shown at Cafe Museo, I got the following e-mail from one of the artists, Silvia Poloto:

From Silvia Poloto

I just read your post in your blog about my upcoming show at SFMOMA Cafe Museo, and I really appreciate you mentioning me and my work.

However I just wanted to tell you that I don't think that work is decorative at all.
You said :  (ummm..the PR release is a bit too much hype for these brightly colored, glossy pieces but they are pretty and would add a decorative element to a bland room).

I would love for you to come over to my studio and see the works in person, and I am sure you would change your mind about them being decorative or finding the PR release to be too much hype for the work.

 I believe my previous work may fall into the "decorative" category.
After losing my husband to a brain tumor 2 years ago I went through a major transformation and so did my work.
I actually think I have found my voice, and I am pretty excited about it.

Please do not take this email the wrong way. I am not offended.
It's just I thought you should see the work in person and I would love to meet you anyway. My studio is in the Mission, you are welcome anytime !

My replay to her was:

I am flattered that you read my blog!  First of all, my condolences on the loss of your husband. I heard you speak at Gallery 415 in 2008  or 2009 (??) and I believe that you mentioned his illness at the time but I didn't realize that he had passed away.

 I had NO intention of causing you (or any artist) any pain. But I saw your work at Open Studios last year and thought that your palate had changed, i.e. become more somber but still felt that your work was decorative, in the best sense of the word. (* see the comments section for more thoughts on "decorative).

Now, I have no problem with work being decorative - many great artists did work that is now considered "decorative." Think of the great Italian painters from Giotto to Tiepolo (and beyond). They decorated walls and had no problem with that.

BUT if you want to send me a nice image and a rebuttal, I'd be delighted to post it in my blog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE feedback and never think that I am right all the time. The images at the SFMOMA Artist's Gallery website weren't big enough (IMHO) to really show the difference. Now, I know that you are busy so if you don't want to do this, I can fully understand.

If you are doing Spring Open Studios, I will probably go by your studio to see your current work and I certainly will look at it when it goes up at Cafe Museo, my favorite place to get an early latte. But I don't want you to think you have to go out of your way to show me your pieces; I've liked your work for years and fell that your success is richly deserved.

In fact, the fact that you write to an obscure blog to correct any misunderstandings of your work is proof that you work harder than most artists at making sure your unique artistic voice is heard.

To continue - she did send me some images and I am posting some of them here. But I urge everybody who reads this to get over to the Cafe after March 15th and decide for yourself. IN fact, get over to the Cafe now so that you can enjoy Kim Froshin's work and then, compare it with Ms. Poloto's equally beautiful but very different pieces.

silvia poloto  |  442 shotwell st  |  san francisco ca 94110   |   t + 1.415.641.5878   m + 1.415.305.7470   |   |


cookiecrumb said...

I guess decorative is a dirty word. (Also commercial. When I did commercial art, my art-school-trained brother in law was disgusted.)

On a different but related topic. Look what I found!

namastenancy said...

You are right - "decorative" has become the "dirty" work for art but it shouldn't be. Maybe my original comment was a bit too off hand but I don't have a problem with pretty art. Watteau, Rubens, 17th century Dutch landscapes - all pretty, all decorative and all beloved today. I will bet that Silvia's art will "survive" longer than a lot of the grunge that's popular today. But I hope that I can get people to look, think - and of course, buy. As far as I can tell, she's very successful but I'm always in favor of artists getting more money (unless you are Jeff Koons, the twit with the shark in a tank and his fellow followers).

Zoomie said...

@Cookiecrumb, wow, I really like that blog, "Feasting on Art." Thanks for the lead!

@Nancy, sounds like the artist thought you meant the word in a different way than you intended.

namastenancy said...

Oh - and what a fabulous link! I am gnashing my teeth with envy because that's one of the things I want to do as well, time permitting. But I should know that any good idea that I have will have already been around the block several times before it pops into my head.

Oh well, oldie but goodie, Right?