Painting Blog > Artist-Art, Painters > On the face of things

On the face of things

Originally posted on April, 17, 2007

Historically speaking, artists have not have a lot to say about their art. They have been more absorbed in the doing of it. Needless to say they gave a lot of thought to this doing. But for the most part they let the art speak for itself. After all, it is a visual language. Up to a certain point this worked out fine. However, when the impressionist came under attack by the “new generation” of the 1880’s things dramatically changed. The modern era required that everything be rationalized and justified. This became problematic for the artist. It is not as if he had nothing to do but to be concerned with what people where saying.

Add to this complication the fact that the artist is obliged to become a businessman or businesswoman. For the professional painter or artist today they are obliged to spend at least one-half of their time taking care of the business and promotional side of things. All of this is to say that being an artist today is a very complex issue. And there is nowhere to run and hide from the complexity. The paramount task in the mist of all of this activity is to create art that speaks to people. It is not enough, and not even relevant, to simply do something considered new. The very long dialogue about which art is the most decadent or who is on the avant-garde cutting edge has now to my ear a hollow ring. There are many more important issues which urgently need attention. Being an artist today has something to do with identifying and addressing these issues. The pundents are not going to do it for us. Not easy. How are we to do all of this and pay the bills at the same time?

We need to walk our talk. Not easy. But where are we to hide? All of the good hiding places are gone.

Have fun,

Published in french as À première vue


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