About a year ago I beganhaving artworks fabricated for me by an artisan in China named Mr. Chen. As I accumulated more and more of them, I became interested in attempting to develop value out of these well made but traditional and ordinary artworks. I participated in a group show at West LA College Art Gallery and showed my collection of paintings by Mr. Chen under the assumed name of J.W. Yardsworth III. For the opening reception I performed as Yardsworth, sharing his interests in collecting and about his personal and business life. What was interesting is that it didn't matter whether or not the gallery visitors believed Yardsworth was a bonafide collector, they were all interested in his story. Because I felt it was necessary for Yardsworth to share his story and collection with the rest of the world I made the attached video "Treasures of a Collection".
When I was asked by the non-profit gallery FELT Space in Adelaide, Australia to propose an exhibition for their space I began thinking about other people who collect artwork and how their collections acquire cultural and financial significance through personal stories, exhibition histories and auctions, to name a few. This led me to the John Kaldor Family Collection of contemporary art that was donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia. I marvel at John Kaldor's persistance and dedication to contemporary art but I also wondered if I could develop significance in my own versions of his artworks if I had them re-created by the painting fabrication company I work with in China and organized my own exhibition of artworks from the Kaldor Collection.
Because this project is rooted in the curatorial process, I decided that my story about the work I am having re-created from the Kaldor Collection would be that of a curator. If you're unfamiliar with this term, it mostly means, organizing and handling an assortment of artworks through a selection process for an exhibition to give previously unnoticed meaning to the artwork; this "new" meaning can also translate into value. With this as my focus, I will be developing a catalog with images of the artworks and essays by art historians to give context and value to my re-made artworks. Additionally, I will produce a video about my curatorial journey that will be exhibited alongside the paintings that have been fabricated in China.
Your support will aid in the transportation of the artworks (and possibly myself) from Los Angeles to FELT Space in Adelaide, Australia. It will also support the catalog and production of the video for the exhibition that will take place in July 2012.
David De Boer
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