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Monday, July 13, 2009

The art of the deal

click to enlarge THE DREAMER: Lucha Rodriguez
  • THE DREAMER: Lucha Rodriguez

When Wall Street’s house of cards caved in last fall, scores of Sunday morning spinmasters pinned the Great Recession on us as our rightful national comeuppance. For years we spent more than we earned, so someone somewhere had to pay the bill, right? But even as the rest of the economy had shifted into overdrive, the vast majority of those who make art for a living never had it all that easy. Now, with the demand for art screeching to the same halt as the demand for everything else, many Atlanta artists find themselves suffering a hangover from a party they were never even invited to.

Four Atlanta visual artists of various ages and career paths recently reflected on their practice, their prospects, and how they navigate the high seas of a rough economy.

The Dreamer: “We’re willing to create our own country.”

Printmaker Lucha Rodriguez always seems to be wearing something purple. Or violet. Or lavender. Her dark hair is punctuated with fuchsia stripes, and she rolls her feet in her gold lamé sneakers as she walks through SCAD’s mostly abandoned hallways.

“I’m gonna work on my group,” she says, describing how she’ll spend her time after receiving her MFA in December. “There are five of us right now. One from Mexico, one from Bulgaria and the rest from here in the U.S.” The art collective, still without an official name, plans to swap art ideas online and take on cooperative art projects. It's also planning a website and manifesto. “We’re willing to create our own country,” she says. The new art practice of the network generation.

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(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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