When I lived in Boston’s Fort Point Channel, it was kind of a subversive thing to do. All the artists lofts were illegal to live in but we did it anyway. Each fall, the Fort Point Arts Community would have Open Studios. This was a great time for us to visit our friend’s studios and get caught up. I sold Hot Dogs and Fresca as way to get people to walk a little further down the street, climb three flights of stairs and take a look at the art on our floor. The way I advertised this was simple: I plastered the neighborhood with work prints that had little sayings on them. Of course, the bottom always had “327 Summer St.”. What was funny and somewhat unexpected is how my hot dog signs became collectable. People just ripped them off the walls and windows.This was fun because people got something nice and I emptied my print stacks.
You see, I can’t just throw art away. My prints represent an investment of time and money for me. Even my visual “doodles” and work prints are hard to part with. I wish I could be a little more businesslike about it all, but I feel better leaving it out for people to do with it as they might. So, when I cleaned out my studio closet and basement this week, I was confronted with a familiar pile. I know what to do with these prints. I’m going to give them all away.
Each print will be signed but without an edition. I’m not giving away final prints. In a nice turn of events, I now have galleries to represent me. Everything that hits the street is a work print and only valuable visually.
I’ll do my best to photograph where I leave my work with the hashtag #FreeArt. It would be fun to see where the work ends up and who it touches but the purpose of this is to pass on what has moved through me. This is an act of joy and gratitude. I’m also having a little bit of fun with it all. My instagram tags are #FreeArt by #FamousArtist #RonCowie.
I’m reminded of the famous lines made by Wavy Gravy at Woodstock: “It’s a free concert now.”
So, lets have some fun out there. The distribution starts today.