Today we’d like to introduce you to Wayne Michael Reich.
Wayne Michael Reich, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’m an artist and writer who writes primarily about the Phoenix Art Scene via my blog known as “Artbitch,” [http://waynemichaelreich.blogspot.com/] along with several well-received articles in PHOENIX Magazine. I’ve also had the joy of being unofficially blacklisted by the Phoenix New Times for noting it’s substandard arts reporting when it was under the tutelage of Editor Amy Silverman, and established myself in the words of AZKaos.com as: “Snarky? Yes. Well-written? Indeed.”
Every city needs an Artbitch, and this is yours. My main focus in my writing has always been the marketing of and the need for, a more professional environment in which to promote what the artists and Creatives of Phoenix have to offer. Another side tangent of my critical essays has been to hold our so-called advocacy arts group known as Artlink responsible for its numerous ego-driven blunders that have negatively impacted what could be a truly fertile ground for the Creative sector of Phoenix, stating directly that if only they cared more for the Arts community they claim to represent versus their need to pat themselves on the back, our city’s Creative community would have a far wider audience and possibly the international acclaim it deserves. As I’ve said numerous times, I see and hope for a day when Phoenix IS the destination, not the pit stops. The talent that is inherent within the Phoenix Creative community is admirable, passionate, focused, and underrated – they deserve representation that not only believes in that, but is going to market it, and more importantly, protect it with the same passion, if not more, than its Creatives already possess.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’d consider myself a POP artist – I paint, sculpt, photograph and do the work that I want to do. I don’t follow trends, I don’t do work of the moment, I do what interests me, and I create for myself first. I have no interest in making others happy with my work as a rule – my first responsibility is to please myself, and endeavor to do the best that I can. My reward comes from knowing I did so, and knowing that the work itself is fully realized. Unlike some artists, I don’t require fawning adoration as a conduit to making myself happy. My joy derives from creating out of the ether a statement that can stand on its own two feet.
My painter’s inspiration comes from the New York New Wave movement of the 80’s, and my Photographic inspiration stems from the details of life I see around me. I find the big picture boring, I’d rather see the nuts and bolts that give the detritus of life solidity and structure. If there is a message to be gleaned from my work, I would like to think that it allows people to give pause, and see that art is not only in the details, it surrounds them on every level. My critical writing hails from the issue of my being afflicted with Diabetes, which in 2009, claimed the use of my hands due to nerve damage. This not only led to my having to learn how to paint again, but it channeled my compulsion to create into a new skill-set. Across the board, I derive the same level of personal satisfaction regardless of what form my creativity manifests itself as. I have been granted the privilege to see the world differently than most, and I appreciate that every day.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
The best thing you can do for your local Creative enclave other than supporting their endeavors financially is to show up, promote and share with others the work that they do. If you can’t buy their work, the next best thing that’s out there is to act as their unofficial press agent. Tweet their work, their shows, their studio location – every bit helps. With the advent of social media, certain aspects of an artist’s life have gotten easier – the marketing of one’s work for example. There’s a lot to be said about being able to talk to a potential patron on the other side of the world while sitting in your home wearing Spiderman Underoos.
The downside is that there are untold scores of other Creatives doing the same exact thing as well, so standing out is just as difficult as it was pre-Internet. The modern Creative needs to be aggressive, forward-thinking, and never lose sight of the fact that when the tools are put down, it’s time to pick up the metaphorical clipboard and get to work marketing what’s just been created. Where cities can lend the helping hand is by supporting their local galleries, art-spaces, after-school and public center art programs, funding public art commissions, and by promoting all of the same. Financial incentives and tax breaks for rehabilitating and the reuse of buildings for galleries and/or affordable housing for Creatives, is also in my opinion, vitally necessary too. You can’t have an Arts scene without Creatives. It really is that simple. The fact remains that Art rewards a community and its citizens with beauty, insight, and inspiration. It should be recognized and supported for these realities alone.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The easiest way is to visit my website where using the magic of the Internet, you’ll be able to experience all of my creative endeavors, be they painting, photography or my saturnly venomous writing. If you want to support what I do, you can buy my art, buy my photography or hire me to write an article or interview for you. Do it now, before my Diabetes kills me or before our Evil Lizard Overlords decide, I’ve revealed too much about their sinister and way over-complicated plans.
And if you don’t like my work, let me know what work you do enjoy, and I’ll try to set you up with one of the scores of Creatives I have the honor of associating with. As Victor Pinchuk, the Russian oligarch once said: “Art, freedom, and creativity will change society faster than politics,” but nothing changes an Artist’s life more than being supported financially and emotionally by their community. Support your locals. Do it consistently. And always remember this truly important credo: “Support Living Artists. The dead ones don’t need it.”
- Address: Website: https://waynemichaelreich.com/
(C)WayneMichaelReich.com All Rights Reserved, Jim Hesterman