Right now, the ‘struggling artist’ has been joined by the ‘struggling waiter’ the ‘struggling CEO of a pub-umbrella manufacturing company’ and the ‘struggling dinner lady’. All industries, professions and callings have been hit by lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that artists aren’t still finding it tough to make ends meet. With galleries and museums closed, residencies postponed and buyers as wary as everyone else right now, artists’ incomes are more precarious than ever. They can’t even do life modelling.
Now the Contemporary Art Society has teamed up with Frieze to create a Rapid Response Fund to help artists and museums through this time. The fund already has £100,000 through donations from patrons, and it’s now crowdfunding to raise an extra £80,000.
Here’s the good bit. As part of the campaign, some big-name artists have been talked into creating limited-edition face masks. These come in four flavours.
David Shrigley has designed one with choppy waves, or possibly untamed lockdown hair, with the tiny word ‘Emotions’ in one corner.
Eddie Peake has done some face profiles in what looks like 1980s lycra, possibly from an old Olivia Newton-John leotard.
Linder is cheering us all up with some cheeky smiling boobage.
Yinka Shonibare has gone with this tasteful floral print featuring spiky round flowers that DEFINITELY AREN’T coronas.
The masks cost £35 each, or £120 for all four. Sales will be used to purchase works by emerging artists to add to the collections of museums across the UK, so both artist and institution benefit.
And so do you. With that Linder mask, you’ll be the talk of Asda.
Donate and choose your mask at the Contemporary Art Society’s crowdfunding page.
Other ways you can help London and Londoners during lockdown.
Check out this great online group show featuring 50 artists’ response to lockdown.