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Paypal: The New Medici? By Diana Rico
Michelangelo had the Medicis. Diego Rivera had Rockefeller. And Yulia Pinkusevich has Paypal, her trusty email list, and a large dash of inventiveness to propel her artistic vision forward.
On April 3, 2009, at 6 pm, Yulia will be suspended high above the lobby staircase of Warehouse 21, a community arts organization in the currently hot Rail Yard district of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she will create a large-scale charcoal drawing covering much of the upper wall and corner of the 40-foot space. What makes Yulia’s project
especially intriguing to the wordARTist is the way she set about raising funds. A couple of months ago she sent out this email:
I will create a large scale drawing directly on the wall. The wall will be rigged for climbing and I will be suspended by a harness. The performance will consists of me negotiating the vertical space while drawing an image with charcoal and tape. The action of drawing and climbing will leave marks from my body along with marks
made by my hands, leaving a trace of physical struggle that will become an inherent part of the drawing and image.
I have begun rigorous training for the performance and am seeking sponsorship for this project. I need to raise money to pay for the space and equipment rental, setup, filming and production costs. If you, your organization. or any others you know of might find this idea interesting, amusing, or would simply like to see it realized, please take a minute to donate as much or as little as you can. Every dollar counts! I have set up a quick pay pal link for your generous donations!! DONATE NOW (via PayPal). The new piece will be a natural extension of some of Yulia’s past explorations, largescale charcoal drawings either directly on walls or suggesting walled enclosures: “This is the first fundraiser I have initiated,” she told the wordARTist. “Most of the people who donated are friends and know me personally–except one art organization from NJ and DC. This was a nice surprise! Yes indeed it is strange territories that I am sailing, since I am not into asking for money! But in the spirit of this project and knowing how difficult it would have been to realize it without the help of others, I decided to be bold and simply write an email. I figured people would just delete it if they are not into it.”
Yulia has also obtained help from Kevin Jaramillo, a world-class climber and filmmaker from New Mexico “who helped me with the rigging of the wall to be safe and climbable. Also he showed me how to use the various devices/equipment to help me move around. He was very kind to donate his time and equipment to the project.” Filmmaker Kristin ten Broeck, studio director and founder of New Media Films, is also donating time and efforts to collaborate with Yulia on a video of the performance, to be premiered in Cambridge, MA, on April 30. In addition to these in-kind donations, Yulia has raised some $1200.
Her whole enterprise strikes me as being so in keeping with the spirit of these times. As the old infrastructures crumble around us, more and more we are reaching out to community for support, as well as inventing new ways of accomplishing our goals. The wordARTist loves Yulia’s out-of-the-box thinking for raising funds, which puts her
squarely in the vanguard of a new breed of artist entrepreneurs that the New York Times recently identified in the article “Shifting Careers: Making Artistic Careers Lucrative.” Yulia says, “I am hoping, now that others are involved, that this project will be good enough to make people feel that it was a worthy cause to contribute to. It’s a fine line
between silly and serious.” I’d say it’s just plain inspiring