Artists and assistants : I Am trying to create a dialog about the relationship between artists and their assistants in the renaissance assistants were a part of the artists school all working together on the same painting the artists would be commissioned to make a painting the assistant depending on their skill would fill in the landscape work on fruit, paint hands the artists would come in when most of the work was done and paint the face correct things about the work the assistants did . the assistants had this idea that they would have their own school someday , but that was the goal and everyone was clear on it. currently artists work with assistants some have 2 or 3 assistants that do mundane tasks such as cleaning shopping for food , so the artists can spend all their time focused on making, or thinking, other artists have such large works or so many that the assistants help with making, I will run down some of the scenarios that exist and talk about each one. some artists have a very professional studio with clear boundaries of what is expected , time off compensation ,bonuses other artists use the grey vague area to whittle away on the assistants conscience so the assistant is always wondering if they had done the right thing , I feel that as the art world demands art to be more 21 century the artists and assistant roles have to also get out of the middle ages . often the guilt of the show must go on , the artwork must be made ,everyone working towards the common good ,is used as a guilt chip to move the assistants ,weather it is working days on end or not taking time off until the show is installed or the sculpture or artwork is created , these are all things that should be talked about . but the artist either because they are not used to being in charge of a business or because they like the vague quality because they know the assistants will always do their best . so they get more work out of them .
some artists like Robert Longo have credited their assistants in the description of the artwork, some artists like Chuck Close and Murakami know their assistants have ambition of their own and help them with their careers so that they can leave on a positive note. other artists trap their assistants so that they can't leave and wont work for anyone else. but the artist assistant relationship should be out inn the open so that it is not a dirty secret .I was recently made aware of a newer version of this that the sweat shop in art ives on , art fabrication studio as sort of one stop shop of making art objects from paintings to foundry arts the artist no longer has to keep track of assistants they all work under one roof , how ever they are treated as common workers and have very few rights. When I worked with jasper I helped bring prints to BAT ready to print , this was long process and would often take months to a years , I would often work on the washes for the plates , the printers after they worked on the edition would get a copy of each print they worked a sort of retirement fund , and archive for thier old age because as a asst I had none of these protection I worked on 100s of print editions and never got one of these compensations , because jaspers prints became worth so much he would meter out how often he would give the printer a PP printers proof , the printers got pissed off at this and would make them any way for themselves and slip them in the pile of the edition during signing embarrassing the artist so the artist would have to be a real dick not to sign these prints the were in the tradition of what the printer could get, but because I was not protected by this tradition , I was seen in this case as another artist , not a worker ,these are the types of grey areas . Art asstants are prtected and can file with the seane painters Union but they are not told this and it is not encouraged , but it would help them , when someothing like this is done the artists cry that they are only a mom and pop store and how can the asstants be so crass as to make these demands