Looking back at The Descent Of Man


Hours upon hours of careful thought, introspection, and physical effort combined with at least $528 went into the opening of my current show. Unlike my last solo show in February 2005, I felt proud of the work, and wanted people to see it. To help that along, I used Myspace, Facebook, and Evite to create events, send invitations, and occasional reminders. I even sent out a mass text message the day of the event. Did it pay off? Welll…

The most common question I’ve gotten since the opening has been “How did it go?”. To be honest, I’m kind of unsure as to how to answer that. On one hand, the place seemed relatively full of people for good portions of the evening. Close friends, casual friends, old acquaintances, strangers, etc. There were several former/supposed friends who were invited and didn’t show, including some that even went as far as to RSVP that they would be attending. Anyway, as far attendance goes, sure, I guess I was satisfied with the overall number of bodies in the room. But how does one measure success with an event like this?

The other question I’ve gotten pretty often is “Did you sell anything?”. And the answer is no. This is the fourth show I’ve done (3 solo, 1 group), and it’s the first time I’ve been shut out, despite the fact that it’s clearly my best work. Apparently I’m in the minority in that thinking, because the public seems to think it’s overpriced dog shit. So, financially speaking, the show was a complete disaster. I spent nearly $600 to show my artwork to a bunch of people that were fine with only seeing that one time. Now, the show isn’t over. The work is still there, and will be until early January. Needless to say, I’m not overly hopeful that work will sell, certainly not enough to break even. Especially considering that the shop takes a 40% commission. Not only am I left in a hole financially, but now I’m going to be stuck with about 20 framed pieces of my own artwork. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that!? I certainly don’t want to decorate my stupid apartment with my own artwork. Whatever.

I also had a grand plan to document the entire process of creating the work, setting up the show, and the opening reception. As with most plans, it didn’t happen. I was left with very little footage, and far less usable footage. Using what I had, I put together a movie showing how some of the pieces came about, from original concept sketch to final print, along with some other random bits. If you watch it, select the “view in high quality” option, or it will probably look pretty shitty.

2 Responses to Looking back at The Descent Of Man

  1. rob says:

    Way it goes with art shows. I had a similar experience a few months ago. The best part is the gallery I was in did not pay the rent and their landlord locked the place up with my art still in it. It took me 4 months to convince the guy they were mine to release them.

    Also FYI, I saw NIN at Planet Hollywood on Saturday and Trent announced it was NIN’s last show ever and that he is breaking the band up to start something new under a new name.
    He thanked everyone in his band and said farewell to them.

  2. Joseph says:

    Ha… you might have been having too much fun.

    What Trent said was that it was the last show for Josh and Allesandro. They have a new drummer, and will launch a new, stripped down tour in January. The will play as a four-piece. They will be doing amphitheaters in the US next year, ending around June or July. Then a new NIN record.

    Here’s a video interview from after that last show:

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