Bleeding Artists Dry: Nola Avienne’s Donor Wall Project
Why settle for owning a piece of art when you can own the blood of an artist?
This is the question posed by Seattle artist Nola Avienne, who recently asked seventy-two other local artists to donate blood for her Donor Wall Project, an installation of blood paintings which opens this Thursday as part of the exhibition I.D.: Individual Demographics at Greg Kucera. But lest you find yourself tempted by the prospect of owning your favorite artist’s blood, there is a catch: while the list of the donors is public, the gallery won’t let you know whose blood is whose until you’ve made your purchase. For the artist—who underwent training to receive a certificate in phlebotomy to complete this project—this condition of anonymity is a key conceptual component of the work:
An unfortunate trend in the art market is the purchasing of work as an investment, not out of love for the work but because collectors want to buy a name. […] The intention of this project is that if someone wants to own a piece from the series they will have to choose it based solely on their aesthetic decision.
The full list of donors is on the gallery’s website, which also indicates that 10% of the proceeds from the Donor Wall Project will go to the Puget Sound Blood Center. I.D.: Individual Demographics also includes work by a diverse group of established and emerging artists including Matt Browning, Fergus Greer, Jane Hammond, Hugo Ludeña, Kerry James Marshall, Tim Roda, and Chad States (whose incredible Craigslist portraits of “masculinity” just made the SLOG.) The exhibition will also feature two panel discussions, moderated by Jen Graves (June 10, 7 p.m.) and Mary Ann Peters (June 17, 7 p.m.).