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10 Years: So What Do You Do, Jude Tallichet?

We talk shop with the artist who rendered mediabistro.com's 10th anniversary 'Golden Boa' awards

- October 3, 2007
When mediabistro.com decided to present "Golden Boa" awards to 10 media movers and shakers, Brooklyn-based artists Jude Tallichet was a natural choice to create the plaques. For the past 20-plus years, she's worked in mediums ranging from bronze sculpture to light installations, and exhibited at galleries across the country. We spoke with her about the state of art today, her journey from Kentucky to the outer boroughs, and the difficulties of creating art from Jell-o.
How did the idea for the golden boas come about?
This was [mediabistro.com founder] Laurel [Touby]'s idea. She wanted to develop an award for people who have done outstanding things in media.

You've worked with all types of different mediums. What's your favorite?
Sound.

Least favorite?
Jell-o.

You were born in Kentucky, educated in Montana, and now live in Brooklyn. What is it about New York that draws artists to the city?
I think all artists have to contend with New York at some point in their career. It is one of the major international art world cities, made up of artists, galleries, critics, and art press, as well as major museums and collections.

How has the Internet changed how artists become recognized?
Of course, the Internet has changed the way artists can communicate. Many artist use the Internet as a means of distribution outside of the traditional art market. This can be as simple as the distribution of text and image, or as complicated as a Web site such as "Fine Art Adoption Network," where artists give away their work to someone who wants to have it, based on their reason for wanting the artwork. Maybe some object-making artists have been discovered on the Internet, but probably it was a first step. Although there are some artists who make work only for the Internet as a conceptual project, it seems to me that the traditional channels for visual artist recognition are still in place: the prestigious MFA programs, the galleries, the network of other artists, etc. I think more art writers have been discovered on the Internet: there are some great art blogs.

How has the internet helped or hurt your career?
It helps in that it is much easier to organize a show with curators.

"Art openings are the closest thing to a mediabistro.com event."

What would you tell up-and-coming artists hoping to break into the mainstream?
Have a lot of studio visits. Invite as many people as you can to see your work. Put up a great Web site.

A number of your solo exhibitions have been at the Sara Meltzer gallery. How did that relationship get started?
One of Sara's assistants saw my work in a show at P.S.1. and convinced her to do a studio visit.

Why has it continued?
We work well together, it's a partnership.

Do you ever wish there was mediabistro.com equivalent in the art world?
Art openings are the closest thing to a mediabistro.com event.

Do you see any similarities between the life of an artist and the life of a freelance writer?
They are both really difficult professions.

You've known Laurel for a long time. What's your favorite memory of her?
The time she was at my studio and we were trying to make a prototype award. She was gluing feathers onto a piece of wood and it wasn't easy. Feathers were everywhere.


Noah Davis is mediabistro.com's associate editor. He can be reached at Noah AT mediabistro DOT com.

[This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]

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