Wednesday, June 2

What Is the Nature of Artists?

Hi Fans & Followers-

What is the nature of artists?

That is today’s burning :-) question. Why, you may ask, am I blogging about this on a pleasant summer’s morn?

Last weekend at an art gallery reception, I was in the midst of other artists. Oh, there were family and friends of the artists there, too, but there were also other artists as you might expect.

We were all so cordial and nice walking around with our glasses of chardonnay and cabernet inspecting the hanging works. I couldn’t help overhearing some of the casual conversations.

Clumps of people stood before the canvases, some were ooh-ing, others aah-ing. Many of the paintings were magnificent.

But there were also a few people remarking under their breath things, such as, “I wonder how he/she did that,” and “I don’t really care for that one.”

That got me to thinking, albeit briefly, about the nature of artists.

I recall the entry rules for some of the competitions, annual shows, and art festivals. Many are so detailed with pages of numbered sub-paragraphs in fine print that you would think you were applying for a national security clearance rather than an art show.

Rules are spelled out, such as “original motifs only” and “original work only” and “work must not have been produced during a class or a workshop” and my favorite, “no reproductions and digital outputs.”

I’ve heard stories from artist friends who apply to shows all over the country. They talk about the exacting rules for entering and how their entries have been questioned more than once for authenticity even though these artists are as honest as the day is long.

What are we, a bunch of lying cheats?

Well, apparently so.

These rules must be in place because there are artists who lie and cheat.

And don’t get me started on jury selection stories I heard. The pettiness, the back-biting, and the jealousy all comes out when artwork is judged by another artist. “What does he/she know?” “They never like abstract work.” “They give prizes to all their friends.”

And art is supposed to be enlightening and altruistic? Well it is, but it’s also rendered and managed by human beings. Artists are no more likely to behave in nicer or better ways than any other segment of society.

Don’t forget that.

Until next blog…

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