Episode 93 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / The Whitney Museum Calls

The Whitney Museum Calls

In April 2001, I noticed another news item that said people can send in their art to a particular person at the Biennial, the coordinator. I sent in a copy of the first package and also sent another package to two other curators at the Biennial. So that was a total of four packages with a letter and DVD to the Whitney Museum.

I waited and heard nothing, and it was the summer of 2001. I knew the names of the artists who got into the Biennial would be made public in November, so I was getting antsy. My wife suggested that we use meditation or mind-control to help us. That meant that we picked a quiet time each day (when the baby was sleeping) and did a specific meditation together. It was a version of the Silva Mind Control method. Here is how it worked. We would use a visualization of getting into an elevator and going down many floors. With each floor, we became more and more relaxed, and finally when the elevator reached the bottom floor, we got out in a deeply relaxed state and began visualizing what we wanted to happen. I pictured myself in an office at the Whitney Biennial being greeted by the curator. I imagined that my wife and I were talking to her, and very enthusiastically she said, “I would love you to be in the Biennial!” We did that every day. If nothing else, it made us relaxed and focused on what we wanted. Then in August, we got a call from the museum saying that they wanted to interview us.

Of course we were thrilled; we set a date to come in, and I began asking everyone what I should say at the interview. I got all kinds of advice from “Say something that sounds very important and interesting” to “Just be yourself, don’t talk about philosophy or history, just relax.” Many artists assured me that it was routine, and I probably wouldn’t get in anyway. That was my first taste of professional jealousy, and it made me feel awkward to think that some of my friends thought the interview was inconsequential and didn’t mean much. In fact, I learned that the interview meant a lot. It meant you were being considered, and now they want to put a face on it, to see what you are like, to make the final decision.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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