Art is terrifying. To put your art out there on display in the world, and to place a price on it, is to ask the world to love you, and value you, and nothing is scarier than that. Because, when the world doesn’t love you, and doesn’t value you, what does that mean?
[Insert pregnant silence]
I watched people at the gallery today. For the most part, the art was quite literally wallpaper – the background to a conversation. The friends who were there with me were interested, as was the photographer invited along to take shots.
But nobody else was. Nobody else even looked.
None of it mattered. None of the feeling I put into the work, or the thought, or, being purely practical, the time and the money – none of it mattered. And why should it? People are busy. They have lives of their own. They have better things to think about.
How do you get your creations to matter to someone else as much as it does to you? I don’t know. This website is part of it. It would probably have helped if the exhibition notes were up as they are supposed to be, because that tells the story and gives the context.
But you can’t make people care. All you can do is walk out there and show yourself, naked in the world, and hope that they don’t point and laugh.
2 thoughts on “The nakedness of art”
Do you paint for yourself or for others? It sounds to me as if your work comes from inside you–that you are painting to satisfy your needs/urges/emotions/drives. Sure, it is nice if others appreciate what you do–but you really do it for yourself, and you are your own most important (and harshest) critic. If everyone loved your art, then it might as well be Hello Kitty, right? If you create to satisfy the masses, then aim for the masses, and avoid all controversy and go for the kitsch.
But that isn’t you, is it? You would rather be yourself, and step out of line, or speak truth to power. So you can’t really expect mass approval, or commercial success. Not that it wouldn’t be nice, of course….but at what cost?
You summarise the issue very well! That’s the core dilemma of creation. I had this debate with a friend yesterday who says I need to paint for the market, and be controversial for the sake of it,but I don’t want to paint something that doesn’t come from within.