Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Artwork Clearance - brainchild of feminist artist Debbie Buchanan Engle - goes global!

By: Kathryn Usher - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Highland Artist Debbie Buchanan Engle Promises No Naughty Bits Will be Peeking Through at the Opening of Her Art Show, Mercy, at Karpeles
Photo:  Kathryn Usher
Debbie Hollis Buchanan Engle (see photo above) is a radical progressive artist, small business owner and feminist. That's a bitchin' combination here in the Deep South.

Earlier this year she created the Facebook page Artwork Clearance as a place to host art auctions. How smart is that? Forget the fees you have to pay to Etsy or Ebay or any of the others. Debbie created an online auction house that is all her own. And she's hosted auctions for other artists and causes.

The creation of Artwork Clearance takes a page from the playbook of  San Francisco based art appraiser, and art writer Alan Bamberger. He said, "In economic times like these, you gotta get creative in order to survive."

The current auction runs through noon Friday December 23, 2011. It's called "Bohemian Bottles." Sixty-six glass and paper pieces make up this collection. The pieces I'm drawn to are the ones that include the cutouts from her grandmother's old sewing patterns. They are paired with quips like "Bring It On" and "Boss Lady."

These are images she's been working with for quite some time. There is a history to this work and that's excellent news for collectors of her art. Centenary College took note of the importance of Debbie's work with these images back in 2006 and featured them in this write up.

Interest in this current auction is global with inquires as far flung as the UK.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo: DBE

the discontents
by debbie buchanan engle

You know it when you’re a kid-
You have a hangover before you’ve ever had a drink.
Anxiety?  Maybe.
I remember that strung-out feeling at 14.
There is no good girl or bad girl-
Everything is reflexive. 
Full of curiosity about God knows what.
You’ve been through therapy.
You memorized too much Oscar Wilde.
You’ve learned the value of sexual freedom
And the consequences of guilt –
And overcome them both.
You remember the very first time you saw Kerouac-
The first time you felt the magic of improvisation
In music.
In art.
In conversation.
You wrote some real shit, man…but it’s all been done before.
You  argued the evils of government and the glory of socialism.
The first time you exposed yourself in public using your medium of choice…
You looked at that man and knew you would have him.
You embrace your label to find your identity –
Then you curse it because you don’t want to be stereotyped.
Screw all of ‘em.
Your labor and your sweat come at 3AM.
You were born a generation too late.
Your brain is a giant file cabinet full of heroes, quotes, poems, embarrassments.
Why were your parents so damned square??
If only I’d had different parents,
I wouldn’t be stuck in this apartment with no tools, man,
No tools to express myself. 
I curse my poverty, and I curse the wealth of those who are unoriginal but rich.
My disasters have made my life interesting enough to become art itself.
Remember the first time you were published?  Holy shit, that was some amazing shit!!
But you were cool about it. 
It’s so uncool to be proud…it makes you one of them.
You learned the words to “Amazing Grace” as a kid;
Now you’ve done everything possible to create a need to lean on those words, even if unconsciously.
And your family won’t understand – they never did.
One moment, you wanted to slit your wrists;
The next, you know you are a genius.
The time between the two won’t last long – take advantage of it because either one will kill you.