About four years ago, Arianna Huffington asked me to blog about my paintings and process as I made them. At first I demurred, saying that it would be impossible for me to expose myself or my work that way. The real truth was that the proposition terrified me. A few days later, I thought to myself, well, perhaps I could interview other artists about their work and start a conversation.
Since then, I have had the privilege of interviewing and writing about over seventy eight artists for a column I started here called First Person Artist. Featuring my own and other artists' work, I covered range of topics including politics, photography, fashion, the last election, climate change, war, feminism, facebook to my own creative process. I made writing and having a conversation with other artists an integral part of my art practice. The act alone gave me courage. And unless you subscribe to the Emily Dickinson model of posthumous discovery, a huge part of making art requires courage, oxygen and getting it "out there." We are encouraging artists, curators and critics alike to write about their work, review others' work, curate their own online exhibitions, and write about newsworthy items that inspire further thought or a strong opinion.
In the coming weeks look out for reviews, musings and interviews by contributing bloggers Patricia Zohn, Peter Frank, Suzanne Booth, James Scarborough, Lisa Adams, Joshua Elias, David Coggins, Dorothy Spears, Peter Clothier, Allison Gibson and many others. Discover new artists in our "Artist Spotlight" series and about events happening around the country in "The Skinny." When we're done reading, we can watch the second installment of Bravo's latest Reality Show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist", throwing the doors open to the art-making sausage factory. Love it or hate it, (love it, can't take my eyes off it!) these artists are full of guts and mischief, and the show is inciting a riot of reactions from the art world even more entertaining than the show itself.
As I said in my first column, no matter how beautiful, clever, or cynical the message, the driving force of all artists-- be they painters, musicians, writers, actors-- is to share, to evoke, to move something significant within the viewer. Until only a decade ago, most artists were often confined to a relatively monastic existence where all but a lucky few reached a large segment of the population far and beyond their studios and geographic location. Thank God for the Internet and its "Long Tail," and certainly the Huffington Post for providing us with a platform for writing about our experiences of making, viewing and reacting to art.
The Arts Section will cover the full range of arts and culture -- from painting to music to theater. By engaging artists, critics and arts writers with all the other Huffington Post conversations -- politics, media, style and more -- I hope to ignite even more sparks among readers and hopefully set the place on fire. I look forward to seeing you here on the arts page, hearing your voices and continuing to expand the conversation.
Kimberly Brooks is a Los Angeles-based artist and the new Arts Editor of the Huffington Post.