I Love Stalking

I love stalking. I always have and I always will.

It used to be that only celebrities and Linda Ronstadt had stalkers. Now everybody has one! In the new millennium it is as essential for the discerning Artistic Groover to have your own stalker as owning a City Gym membership was in the Nineteen-Nineties in Sydney.
I don’t know if I have any steadfast stalkers; cytomegalovirus has been cruel. So I stalk myself.

Everyone needs a hobby, and self-stalking is a fascinating lifestyle choice for those of us artists who attempt to live on our numerous sales, commissions, appearance fees. If you happen to be into self-portraiture, hoorah! As a Self-Stalker you’ll also satisfy your compulsive narcissistic tendencies. And you thought having an “Inspiration” was as good as it got! (Is Inverted Oedipus Complex an Opportunistic Infection?)

I live within the inner-city ghetto of Sydney, and consequently my own stalking generally involves taking a long bus ride with a cracked hand-mirror and spending a day at a deserted beach walking backward to hide my tracks. “How Long Till I Find My Way Home From Here?” is an interesting variant to delight the Demented Self-Stalker. Like budgeting on a fine-arts income, the only limit to self-stalking is your imagination.
Something we may well consider post-Income Tax Time, as we ponder our bare bank accounts and aching heads.

Maybe it’s my biased cynical viewpoint, but it seems these days much of the artistic lifestyle exists in a totally commercial ecosystem. Creativity may be an innate trait but Culture is for sale.

Many of us probably had our first post-school exposure to “real” Culture through an exhibition opening. Of course exhibitions exist to sell art. The good part: this is done by getting you drunk first. Our first public identification as proud artists was likely a cheap op-shop t-shirt with a cute hand drawn slogan such as “Kiss My Art”. Mine took a tangental approach and said, “So Many Men, So Little Masculinity”.

If we were the proud friend of a successful artist maybe we would be gifted a Stella McCartney “My Friend Got an Overseas Residency & All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” t-shirt.

But from there the consumerism gets a hold.
Paying money for artsy CDs – John Cage retrospectives; Man Ray playing the spoons, digitally remastered; Tracy Emin moaning and humming while cross-stitching; art books – reproductions; theory; biographies real and PRed; painting techniques. The expensive tickets for touring exhibitions, often the best-established international art we see in Australia, and Art Gallery/Museum merchandise ad nauseam…
Furniture from Ikea because all the art gang go there now, and you can assemble it yourself if you’re clever, or prove you have friends who are even if you aren’t.

A Vivienne Westwood limited edition “Consumerism Stinks” fragrance.

Art materials. Art materials.

Paying higher rent to live in an inner-city artsy, crafty neighbourhood, paying for overpriced groceries to live around that neighbourhood, or paying for entry to a nightclub/play/concert because you’re too introverted to make friends with the manager or haven’t won the Archibald. Costs incurred by stalking Damien Hirst and David Hockney.

How much stuff related to an artistic identity doesn’t involve monetary transactions? Attending a few funding protest marches, cruising at a free exhibition, perhaps. Sleeping with a gallery owner. Shoplifting nail polish/cat food/paints/brushes.

It’s a conundrum – how to make a living off doing what we love, while not becoming sucked into the commercial whirlpool? Here I am complaining about the commercialisation of art while wanting everyone to BUY BUY BUY my work.

Being part of an online arts community can be fun. The best parts cost nothing.

Self-Stalking is not only easy on the pocket, it has liberated me from the quagmire of endlessly searching for Me. Tonight I am going to take pictures of myself whilst in bed so I can see what I look like when I’m asleep.

Now it’s your turn.

Try doing something Artistic Without Pay every day. I do.

Journal Comments

  • Robert Knapman
  • Kablwerk
  • John Douglas
  • Susan Grissom
  • John Douglas
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