Question: How do you edit down your works prior to a visit from a writer, a dealer, or a curator? Whom do you trust to help you weed out the good from the bad from the meh?
Donald Martiny: I curate my work for studio visits by cleaning and organizing my space, thinking of my presentation as a narrative story. I have found it effective to place sketches, studies, and maquettes in plain view and lead the visitor from those to the finished works, so that the developmental process is clearly evident.
It’s important for the visitor to be comfortable, but not too comfortable, so I offer something simple to drink like water or tea, and some almonds or blueberries. If the visit goes long and leads to a serious, extended conversation, I am always prepared to offer more interesting food and drink.
As for editing my work. I almost never collaborate or discuss what I’m going to show, as I have a good handle on what I want the visit to achieve. When I do discuss my choices, it is with my wife, Celia Johnson, who is a painter with an amazing eye, and who always tells me the hard truth.
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