2011 art works Exhibitions Promoting your Art What is Art

Cézanne, the École, and the fuel of rejection

The story says that Cézanne was turned down by the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts when he applied for entrance. He kept going, and admired as he was by many of his contemporaries, he only managed to have his first individual exhibition in 1895, when he was fifty-six years old (at the famous Gallerie Vollard, a shop on the Rue Laffitte, in Paris).

In 1999, “Rideau, crouchon et compotier”, painted in between 1893 and 1894 was sold for a staggering US$60.5 million. A fitting price for a post impressionist painter considered, by most, as the father of modern painting.

This little, yet powerful story, serves as an appropriate preamble for what I am about to say about the role of criticism into an artist’s development.

 Many of my friends have gone through this and I go through it every day. As artists we need the critical view (both positive and negative) of our artistic expression. After all, art is to be viewed by others, not kept between closed doors.  Critics are everywhere as each view entails a criticism of some sort (there is even the old show business adage about the fact that “everyone is a critic”). And the fact is that all who participate of the art experience will have an opinion, and if given the chance, will impart their views to whomever wishes to hear them.

And that is fine. Criticism is good. Even criticism generated from greed, envy, bad blood, or even ignorance…it is all good because it allows us to see things from other perspectives than our own. And for an artist, this is like a gold mine. A source of feelings, new to ourselves, that should lead to more creativity.

But as I have said so many times before, the soul of an artist cracks easily, hurts more than most, and heals only with love and kindness.

That is the reason why rejection, because of its harshness, tends to be one of the worst forms of criticism for an artist. It is as valid as many others, but still, it is the most hurtful because, as we tend to be to critical of ourselves and too sensitive for our own good, it feels final, with shades of a dead end and brushstrokes of questions about our own artistic and personal prowess. And so it damages the most.

Yet, rejection is an intricate part of our maturing process, and of becoming deeper and more sensitive artists.

The key is knowing that rejection is never final. It is not even a detour. It is simply a crossroad where we have taken a certain road for the wrong reasons, or too soon for us or for others to understand where we are going. Knowing that simple fact allows us to push into other parallel roads, look for other ways, or review our own reasons so as to find, within ourselves and within others, that little extra quality, emotion, or explanation, that will open a door which now seems closed or open doors we had not considered as unlocked to us before.

Cézanne is a clear example of this because he simply never gave up on his own convictions. Time was never a real issue (otherwise he would have reconsidered his career). He may have modified and changed as time went by, but he never gave up on his idea that what he was doing was what his heart, and soul, were telling him. And that was nothing more, and nothing less, than painting his own path into a new expression of what he saw and felt.

Unfortunately, as happened with him and with so many other artists throughout history, we may not reap all the benefits or the public recognition of our own artistic endeavors. If we are lucky, that may be something that only time will tell. But we must know that for that to happen, the eyes of future critics will have to change, sometimes mature, or in other cases simply open up into seeing our own personal ways of perception as making a difference, or having a peculiarity that future generations can appreciate.

But whether the formality of history judges us kindly, or none at all, for us the value of what we do must not reside there.

It must lie within us rather than outside ourselves. And we will only reach the summit of our own genius (and I do believe that we all have the spark of genius within us) if, after learning each and every lesson, we break through the pain and barrage of circumstantial opinion and forge ahead in our individual paths.

The truth is that we were given our talents to be exploited to the fullest of our abilities. And we will be judged by ourselves, others, history, God or simply time, by what we have done with those gifts.

Thus, it is not in playing a blame game that the answer will be found. At the end, the fact remains that as harsh as it may sound, we cannot blame anything or anyone other than ourselves for not doing everything in our power to “invest and multiply” those talents. And in that multiplication we may find the “spark”, that artistic moment of brilliance that will make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. And that will be our legacy, our tiny or giant footstep (that does no matter) into the long path of human civilization.

2010 art works 2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Exhibitions Videos Visual Jazz

Opening Reception and media impact of “Jazz Visual” the Exhibition at the Standard Bank Foundation, March 3rd to April 1st, 2011.

2010 art works 2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Exhibitions Promoting your Art Visual Jazz

Gallery 101 Exhibition March 5th to March 19th

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  I hope you and your friends can make it to Gallery 101 over the next couple of weeks. I’m exhibiting some very nice examples of my Visual Jazz series in their latest Group show. Any interest in acquiring any of these paintings, please contact Adam White ( or just contact me. I hope you like what you see! 🙂

2010 art works 2011 Exhibitions Exhibitions Promoting your Art Videos Visual Jazz


A short video of the recent “NEW YEAR´S RESOLUTION” exhibition at Gallery 101.

2010 art works Exhibitions Promoting your Art

A new video about the September NYC Exhibition in a short jazzy version

A short version of the short film about love, jazz, art, New York, and “Masters of the Imagination, the September 2010 Art Exhibition with works by contemporary artist Ignacio Alperin Bruvera set to some cool jazz.

2010 art works Exhibitions Promoting your Art

Ignacio´s Art on REVISTA Ñ, Argentina´s best selling Arts and Culture Magazine

Article on Ignacio´s Music on Canvas approach to art on today´s Ñ Magazine, Argentina´s best selling arts and culture magazine.

Artículo de Ñ, la revista de Arte y Cultura de mayor circulación en Argentina sobre el “Jazz visual” y la muestra en NYC de Ignacio Alperin.

Nota del día 11 de Septiembre de 2010 - Article on Ignacio´s art which appeared on 9/11/2010
Ignacio Alperin en New York
Nota Aislada de la Página 4 _ Page 4 Article by itself
La nota de Ñ en formato aislado.
2010 art works Exhibitions Promoting your Art What is Art

From a Review of the upcoming NYC Exhibition “Masters of the Imagination”: Music on Canvas

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Music on canvas
The “visual jazz” paintings of an Argentine artist in an annual exhibition of Latin American Art in New York

Artist Ignacio Alperin Bruvera (, whose art has been described by some critics as “visual jazz”, will be taking part, together with some of Latin America’s brightest new and estalished artists, in the now traditional annual Latin American art exhibition “Masters of the Imagination”, organized by Agora Gallery in New York City for over a decade now.

In relation to his art and the invitation to participate in the exhibition, Alperin Bruvera said: “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to present my work and receive recognition in one of the world’s great art capitals, a city that I love and one which also has such a deeply rooted relationship with jazz”.

Fascinated by this genre, Alperin constructs his visual language using methods based on classical concepts, but full of creative inventiveness and spontaneous improvisation that reminds more of the work of musicians than that of classical visual artists.

In his paintings, we come across dramatic lines, spiraling or ripping across the canvas, many times giving the impression of stretching beyond the surface, and framed by vigorous colors applied in his characteristic brushwork. Thus he has built his own language, full of movement and nuances, with which he creates points of contact with the viewers, generating a dialogue which is mostly divorced from figurative representation, but built on a visceral form of abstraction that stimulates the imagination and ignites their hearts.

Tracing a parallel to what happens with great jazz, Alperin encourages his viewers to leave the unilateral relationship which very often characterizes the art experience, inviting them to step into the “stage” and become emotionally involved to the point of making each painting their own, thus transcending everyday reality and immersing them into a process with no defined time or space, towards a more universal vision of everything that surrounds them.

“Over the years I have developed my own visual method as a combination of traditional painting techniques and a large dose of improvisation crafted in the style of the great musicians of that genre. Precisely, it is in the United States where my art has been conceptualized by some as “visual jazz”, a term that I like and that, somehow, I share due to the musicality of my work and the movement that I impress on it” said the artist.

A selection of his works is being exhibited at Agora Gallery (, 530 West 25th St, New York, until 1 October 2010.!/pages/Contemporary-Artist-Ignacio-Alperin-Bruvera/147225685298260?ref=ts

Exhibitions Promoting your Art What is Art

The whole Circus around promoting your art

There is an old story that compares the cycle of marketing with a circus coming to town. In the times of PT Barnum, the example was a great tool to explain how it all worked. It went something like this:

“If the circus is coming to town and you buy a billboard saying “Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local paper picks it up, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, then that’s sales.”

There have been many updates to this story through the years. As a new twist to this account I would like to propose, with much respect to the original author and subsequent updaters whom I owe for their inspiration and clever twists, a new art related version which could go somehow like this:

“If you have an exhibition coming to town and you print a sign saying “Great Art Exhibition  opening on the City Gallery Saturday”, that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of a truck together with images of your work, and drive it through town, that’s promotion. If the truck is driven by accident through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.

If you run the truck through the mayor’s flower bed on purpose, that’s guerrilla marketing. And if you run a contest and ask everyone to send their own videos about artistic generated endeavors that have run amok, that’s user generated content. If they post their videos and forward them to their friends, that’s viral marketing. If they tweet their friends about the contest, that’s micro blogging.

If they post those same videos or pictures on Facebook, that’s social networking. If you have used guerrilla marketing, user generated content, viral, blogging or a social network, that’s word of mouth.

Finally, if you can get people to visit the Gallery, show them your imaginative endeavors, explain your motivations and answer questions, explain what a great investment your art is, and they end up buying and spending lot’s of money on your art, that’s sales.

As an alternative, if they don’t want to leave home to go to the gallery, and you show them your virtual gallery on the internet, and you put 100 pieces when in a traditional Gallery exhibition you may show 20, and provide them with unique views of your work, then that is creativity and allure; and when your paintings look even better on your virtual gallery than live because the visitors have had time to reflect on your art on their own, then that’s the online experience. If at the end of their virtual tour, they spend money on your work, prints and merchandising using a credit card, pay-pall, or other payment methods, that’s e-commerce.

But if they do not want to spend money on your virtual Gallery, you will nevertheless post more advertisements and fancy merchandising like virtual post cards and screen savers and backgrounds, and track their every movement, you will then sell the information to others who will post more advertisements, and that’s behavioral targeting. Those marketers will use the behavioral targeting to send you specific messages just for you; that’s addressable advertising. You’ll even get messages on your iPhone or Blackberry; that’s mobile. You’ll access all this information about you from your terminal that contains no programs; that’s cloud computing.

The lessons from this story are several, but today I am going to concentrate on just 4. These would be:

1.    “Build it and they will come” (Field of Dreams). Never truer than today. But do not expect them to come using the road you planned for their arrival, it does not work that way.

2.    NEVER give up unless you have tried traditional as well as non- traditional methods of promotion, marketing, and sales. And if they didn’t work, there are always ways to profit from all the time invested. It is just a question of looking for the way to do it.

3.    The virtual way is tempting, and it works, but it should be done professionally, thoroughly, and always taking into account that it is not as free as it seems (time in itself IS money and it takes lots of time). Otherwise, you may well find yourself in front of the computer, on your own, wondering where all the time and money you spent has gone.

4. Place yourself in the media to get your buzz going, but to do it you will have to be smart. The press release has been on life support for a long time (I would say at least 10 years) and it does not work. Today’s media require CONTENT, and readymade CONTENT at that. Interesting pieces that bring something fresh and new, and which require little or no work (because they do not have the budgets or staff to do it). Think of clever things to say about subjects you love, mix your work in it, show some magic (we artists are the world’s greatest producers of creative magic), sign it and send it out, ready to print, to online media and traditional outfits. You may be surprised.

In short, today it is like being a one person Circus (wouldn’t PT Barnum be envious if he knew!), becoming an expert in artistic magic (real and virtual), keeping all promotional and publicity balls in the air while we walk the tight rope between traditional methods and new virtual ones. And as always, at the end of the day, it is finally a matter of not letting the lions  eat you.

Good luck!