Friday, January 18, 2013

Kickstarter Virgin

_Art Mysteries #6, cover art by William Evertson, due for release late March_

Is it ever the right time to take the plunge...shake off the doubts just say fuck it and mean it?  Is it time to see if all the Facebook 'likes' have any meaning?  Time to get a reality check on the base of support for a limited edition comic set in the art world?  Time to see how Kickstarter works for raising funds to help with the production costs for another year of Kalicorp Art Mysteries?

Oy...but do I really want to find out?

First there is the discomfort involved in bugging friends (most of them other artists) to support a project while they are struggling themselves.  So let me apologize for that right off.

But on the other hand, +Susan Shulman+ria vanden eynde and I started off with the idea that a comic that featured working but under-represented artists as the real heros of art world is a totally unique concept. The shared struggle of making art is what makes sticking to it bearable.

Plus, Artworld is a mysterious place full of inexplicable hurdles and controversies that form the backdrop of each issue.

Art Mysteries #3, detail page 7

For instance, this panel from #3 featuring Damien Hirst's over hyped Spot paintings that threatened to suck all the air out of Artworld also contains two colleagues worthy of art stardom themselves; performance artist and musician, Jane Wang of Boston and artist Angela Ferrara of Brazil.  And the dialogue about CPR? We keep our eyes and ears open; this issue came out in February, 2012 and by November the art world was reporting crashing sales for Mr. Hirst's work. (Daily Mail)

To date over a dozen artists have appeared in cameo roles. (and we include links to their works)

The first issue frankly wasn't much more than appropriating a comic format and then using the ad space on the inside covers to let people know what the Seeking Kali Artist Collective was exhibiting and where. It was a busy time with a flurry of projects for my collaborators Ria Vanden Eynde, Susan Shulman and myself. 

We loved the feedback we got and got more serious about parody as we put a second issue out. We started using news of the art world as a back story; usually the things that bother us about our profession.  We did panels on Soethby's striking art handlers, strange fundraising at MoCA with Marina Abramovic, OWS, art forgery and the worldwide over saturation of Damien Hirst.

First five issues of Kalicorp Art Mysteries

By our fourth issue I think we hit our stride and found that the comic was part tongue-in-cheek, part art history and part critique. 

Now we've completed five of these hybrid comic limited edition collages it's time to take stock and see what form they should take in the future. Ideally we want subscribers and advertisers and we want to continue to produce these by hand so that they bridge the worlds of comics and zines. 

Hyperallergic ran this article last Oct. 31 around the time when we were first considering running a campaign.  Valentine wrote about some real concerns that we shared as the two quotes typify.

"Commodifying our friendships felt more and more like a real danger"
"Kickstarter doesn’t offer a way of maintaining a consistent practice over a long period."
My head spins as I over think Kickstarter.  I've contributed to others; yet I wonder, "should I be  putting this out there?"  But ultimately the comic is about artistic risks and the mystery of art making and it helps if we keep our sense of humor about the whole endeavor.

Embarrassing video below.

So, please take a few minutes to take a peek at our Kickstarter Page. We think you'll like what you see. (Some great rewards are there for your support)  Thanks in advance! 

Kalicorp Art Mysteries is a Seeking Kali Artist Collective project.  Seeking Kali is William Evertson, Ria Vanden Eynde and Susan Shulman.   All images ©Seeking Kali
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