Saturday, November 30, 2013

Janet Ruttenberg; A Private Artist Goes Public

Janet Ruttenberg, 82, a wealthy woman who refuses to sell her work, is having her first exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.
NY times article by Lisa W. Foderaro on Oct 11th

Pretty much a local human interest story, here's a headline that grabbed my attention, and addresses so much of what I have been thinking about, and as well issues abound in the current art world.
In order to be recognized as an artist one must participate in the market, so it seems.
A woman, in her 80's. she does not want to sell her work.participating, sharing in local goes on, as far as topical issues addressed.
The image attached to article header as well grabbed my attention, as I had begun making drawings and thinking about making paintings, as Alan Watts puts it: people people-ing.

This painting was just that for me.
I have not been to the Museum of the City of New York since I was a kid on a school field trip. I had to make the effort for this. Very nice coincidence that the time I chose to go, Ms Ruttenberg was there at her exhibition, hosting visiting friends of hers.
I recognized her, and spoke to her, and congratulated her.  Told her how I thought the one painting was such a knockout and made me think of Elizabeth Taylor and her relationship to Cleopatra role.  That woman was there in the park, and  was a very exciting subject.
She said she's not bothered that she has not recieved much attention from art world critics for her exhibition, she makes her work for herself.
I find it a bit strange myself.  and a shame. 
Possibly down to politics, like so much else? dunno.
But she's an inspiration for sure.
As far as not being able to see works of art any more beyond their price tag, not an issue here,  as they're not for sale.
Money comes into it only in that she's got her own, and this allows her to do her own thing, on her own terms. Fantastic.
That painting, it keeps coming back. Most of the figures in the Central Park field are blurred out in blue , except for our wide-eyed, beautiful lady protagonist.
The image popped in my head after reading article about the next global pandemic.
People rendered ghosts, or imagining massive amouts of the population, quickly wiped out.

We take so much for granted.

Picturing Central Park exhibition is up through January 5th, 2014.

Thank you Janet.