“I’m ALWAYS ANGRY, that’s my secret weapon” THE HULK.
Artists are funny creatures; on the one hand they are a rag-a-muffin group of emotional cripples, outcasts from society, being chased by their own personal demons. On the other hand, they are a bunch of well developed, intelligent human-beings who have the ability to see into the future. In truth, they are often a mixture of all these things.
Difference is a dangerous thing, and like it or lump it, artists are certainly different!
It’s only right then, that society treats them with suspicion; “the only ‘good artist’ is a dead one” Everybody else is just pretending to be good, “but it’ll be worth something in years to come, WHEN HE’S DEAD!” True, it may well be, but in the meantime you can starve.
So how do artists view themselves…..well very poorly really, often you will hear one say “I’m only as good as my last piece of art” The best way to upset an artist, is to tell them, their art is crap; works every time. Artists get slighted at the smallest of things, you only have to look at them funny, and they get a cob on. You see a lot of artists ‘do art’ because they want to be loved. It’s an ego thing, “look at my lovely art, aren’t I cleaver” and pat me on the head like an over excited puppy!
It’s also the same reason why people stop doing art; you know the scenario, at school and you’ve done this brilliant pencil drawing of David Bowie, from a photo you found in a magazine. Spent ages, just getting it right and it’s probably the best drawing you’ve ever done. You then make the grave error of showing it to your class mates, only to be faced with a wall of laughter and comments like “it looks nothing like him” and “why does his nose look like Donald Duck?”
You decide there and then “I’m no good at art”
That’s the problem with art, it’s a more personal thing, you are opening yourself up to ridicule “I put my heart into that” don’t get above your station, it’s human nature to hammer you down. Nobody likes a smart arse and artists are by nature “SMART ARSES”
So how do you get round this?
Well you can play to the gallery; it’s what most artists do…..give the people what they want. There was a kid at our school who had worked out how to reproduce cartoon characters perfectly with a single pencil stroke. It made him very popular; of course, the pavement artists of old cottoned on to these tricks years ago. The more popular the work the better the penny rewards.
When you think about it there is no rhyme or reason to any of this….why should anybody ‘like’ or even care about your art? It’s almost as if artists produce art as a go-between. I only have value or worth if I produce art that people like…it’s a personal thing, if you don’t like my art, then I must be a bad person, I’m producing shit art, so that makes me a shit person too, “I’m only as good as my last piece of art!” this personal thing runs deep and many artists refer to the term ‘bearing my soul in public’ where the art becomes a personal disclosure of the self. It’s understandable then that artists can become a little touchy when it comes to criticism.
Self-expression is a rocky road to follow, you open yourself up to all kinds of criticisms and debates, and it can become quite personal.
But art is a personal thing; the average viewer generally has no concerns for the artist. They are naturally interested in themselves; they are not interested in the art, how it was made or anything, what they are interested in is how the art makes them feel. It’s their relationship to the art that matters. But get off your high horse, that’s entertainment folks!
All this is very transient, older & wiser artists don’t care about such stuff, it reminds me of why I like pavement art so much. There is no point being precious over something that will only last a few hours, is there?
A few years ago, a group of boys wearing football kits, approached me on the street and asked “What’s the point of it all mate, all this work just for it to be washed away!” I replied “exactly, the same point as 22 men chasing a ball around a football pitch for 90 minutes!”
Don’t get mad…GET ANGRY!
All the best things in life are totally pointless!