To be an Artist ?
“ To be an Artist” This was the title of one of my first Group shows in 2007 at the Redchurch Street Gallery in the East End curated by Yves Blais. The question of what it means to be an Artist, how does one navigate the “ Art World” and at what point does the balance of “ success” change things? This concept of the Artist tooling away in a garret and that only fame and success come once the Artist dead is such a commoner joe blog on the street point of view however when “success or recognition” is slow to come this outdated perception can bother ones bones….
What does it mean to make it in the Art world? I guess this can be different things for all Artists however we cant ignore the establishment and institutions that build an Artist career. My ex- Husband always used call my practice a Vocation and this irkeed me to no end… Just because my work does not sell does not mean that what i do is invalid or my time is not spent well, researching, making, exhibiting, growing as a human and an Artist too… That my efforts to get my practice out in the World to be looked at and discussed was all in vain. When we finally split in 2013 it took me two whole years to start making Art again by which time i was so confused about my creativity that to be an Artist had no longer been an option for me. Thankfully today i have a wholeheartedly supportive partner and obviously as your reading this my dream to do my Fine Art masters at Chelsea College of Art. ( An institution that makes the work i do valid by default as it’s position in the “ World of Art” whatever that means?
Ive been thinking a lot recently about the statement “ Working in the wilderness” I first heard it when Lubaina Himid won the Turner Prize last year. Finally she had the recognition she deserved. Is it recognition by the establishment that means you have made it ? or is it an unquantifiable feeling of creating and building a sustainable practice which means you can get out of bed, make, think and disect Art and the “ Art world “ Everyday?
Being an Artist is a hard job especially as a young Artist working through a practice and ideas which at times can seem unclear and when money is tight and you have to scrape and strive a life for yourself.
In His book “my name is Charles Saatchi and i am an Artoholic” He wrote wrote
“ if you study a great work of art, you’ll probably find the artist was a kind of genius. And geniuses are different to you and me. So let’s have no talk of temperamental, self-absorbed and petualnt babies. Being a good artist is the toughest job you could pick, and you have to be a little nuts to take it on. i love them all.”
I think this sums up my sentiments exactly…..
For me personally to be An Artist means to leave a trace that i even existed at all, Artists have a gift to make things to share their vision and hopefully be recognised for what they do and have their work preserved for future generations… However i will finish with this quote from Tim Murphy’s book “Christadora” ( A MUST READ ) as I’m in rather pessimistic mood this week…….
“ Here i am , another low-to no name- recognition New York ‘artist’ adding to the junk heap. We’ll all die and only .000001 percent of this stuff will have any resonance beyond our own lifetimes”