Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mat Gleason Coagula Interview Part IV

The fourth and final installment of my interview with Mat Gleason, in celebration of Cogaula Art Journal's 100th issue.

(Click here, here and here for Parts I, II and III.)

JW: As a blogger, yourself, what do you think about artists blogging? Do you see any interesting developments in blogging, social networking and other online manifestations of the art world?

MG: Artists blogging can be a good release, a good art form in its own right, but you have to understand that the audience is in charge. Most artists cannot handle that fact. The audience controls the context. The web can make so much art look bland and you might be giving away too much of the product with too many visuals. I hate telling people they have to market, but you are marketing when you are blogging, so the catch-22 becomes that you cannot appear to be "real" if you are stuck on "message" and if you are "real" you can accidentally ruin your "brand" name so to speak. Online is great thought because the art almost ALWAYS looks better in person than it does online. That is not true of print - many artists reproduce well for books and glossy art magazines and in person the stuff underwhelms, but the net, it looks okay on the net and then you see it in person, and it is already familiar, and it is like WOW THIS IS EVEN BETTER IN PERSON almost all the time. So that helps.

JW: With 100 issues under your belt, where do you plan to go from here, both with Coagula and your other projects? Anything new we should be looking out for?

MG: In 2010 we are going to start publishing artist editions on one artist per issue of the magazine, so if you buy the online print-on-demand copy of the magazine you will be able to send in for an edition by the artist. That is the next big step for the magazine. I am already working on Issue 101 with this. But if it flops, fuck it, I will still be publishing six times a year, I learned that the first thing the art world sees you do, they will always have you in that box, so if you are known as a teacher, you are fucked if you want to be anything else, so just go be the best teacher, if you are a crazy cokehead, 30 years later you can be sober 25 years and the art world will still be "watch out, he's a cokehead," so I have worn a lot of hats - curated, gallery owner, yapping on TV about art - but I know that the hat the art world expects me to wear is the first one I wore, I'm the magazine editor who speaks his mind, so that is where I go, where I am at, because it takes me places I haven't yet been! Woo HOO!!!!

Issue #100 of Coagula Art Journal will be viewable November 10, online at

Mat Gleason image via

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