There are a lot of talented artists working today. A lot.
And what are we all working toward? We're all going to be the next big thing. Right? Go-go Gagosian and Mary Boone are going to save us from our mundane lives with a star-making one man show followed by a very exclusive reservation at Mr. Chow. Right? Just like the 80s? And Andy'll be there? No. Dang.
I think notoriety is certainly a goal for a lot of us. We want to get our names out there so that we can get our work seen, and the work to be known and appreciated...and PURCHASED. Because, whether we want it to be, or not - money is a factor too. The art market was worth $64 Billion in 2012. That's 64,000 piles of a million dollars. Fuck. Everyone wants in on that.
But everyone can't have these things. It's not possible.
Which, I guess it okay. I mean, I'm sure some people are happy being creative in a way that makes being an artist little more than a hobby. It's an enjoyable way to pass the time, and I'm happy for those people because they're probably perfectly content. Myself...not so much. I still want to go to Mr. Chow with Larry. I suppose this is sort of like me still wanting to be a Jedi...so let's move on.
I still want it, but I'm not sure I DESERVE it. Like so many of my creative brethren, I am plagued with childish insecurities, and lately, I've had some pretty neurotic questions on my mind: Isn't it possible that most of us are just pretending? Have we deluded ourselves into thinking the work we're doing is important just because we like doing it, or worse, because we like being seen as an artist? What is most of us are frauds?
I know. It's nuts. We're supposed to do our work diligently, and through it all trust that only the persistent practice of our art will lead us to ideas good enough to lead to fame, fortune, and Mr. Chow. And if we do all that we will DESERVE it. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not really sure where this blog is even going. Please forgive the cynicism, but this all go started when I got really angry at the local art scene where I live - in central Illinois. I go to some openings, and the "important" exhibitions, but I rarely like the work I see. I feel like this paragraph could get me blacklisted from...the Peoria art scene? No. From being a painter? No. That's not possible. Cool, then let's proceed. The work I see is fine. It's well executed and care was put into it, and it's fine. But how awful is the word "fine." The work is not wonderful. It doesn't rock my world. It doesn't set my soul on fire. When I look at the work it doesn't bypass my conscious mind and go straight down my spine like lightning. It doesn't feel like great work does.
Usually. Keep in mind there are exceptions to the rule, and I'll address some of those soon, but for now I'm still explaining in perhaps the least cohesive way possible the following equation:
(Self Doubt x Annoyance at the Local Mundane) + Expired Delusions of Grandeur/Actual Understanding of Art Career = Crazy-Assed Painter.
I think. I never was good at math.