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?

Nola Avienne. Donor Wall Project. Artist's blood on paper, 2008. 3 x 3 in.

Nola Avienne. Detail from Donor Wall Project. Artist's blood on paper, 2008. 3 x 3 inches.

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.

Nola Avienne draws an artist's blood for the Donor Wall Project. Photo by Daniel Carrillo.

Nola Avienne draws an artist's blood for the Donor Wall Project. Photo by Daniel Carrillo.

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 CenterI.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 MarshallTim 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.).

~ by emilypothast on June 1, 2009.

3 Responses to “Bleeding Artists Dry: Nola Avienne’s Donor Wall Project”

  1. i’m really excited to be part of this project. while Nola has been painting with blood for a while, creating cleverly titled Rorschach blots and experiments with white/red cell separations, nothing before has really utilized the medium in such a way as to transcend, at least what is for some, an immediate ick factor. i think it’s a stellar project.

    additionally, Chad States’ photographs, also showing in I.D., are blowing my mind.

    …and really, i love the piece, but can we get a mute button on that looped Knight video?

  2. Marc Quinn, eat your heart out – I love this project.

  3. how beautiful. great work, so inspiring!
    the same thing artists have been giving patrons
    since they started, but without the cover-up!

    looking forward to Nola’s next project….

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