Saturday, March 24, 2007

Drive and Tenacity

Sometimes I feel like I am an alien. My being is so based on the fact that I am an artist, there are times when I feel foreign. Often, I meet people who have no knowledge of the arts or what it means to be an artist. Inevitably when this happens, the question is asked. “What is your art like? What kind of art do you do?” It is wonderful that the question is asked. However I know from experience where this discussion will go. Most people know of a limited number of artists who have world acclaim and are “household names”. For example, most people know about Picasso, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Rembrant, and all those other artists included in the “Fine Art for Dummies” book (if there is one). I am not judging the general public due to their lack of knowledge. Sadly, it is not their fault and most people are not aware of the arts in a way that has breadth and depth. Our society doesn’t value the time and effort that would afford students that information. Understanding that, I usually give them my business card, encourage them to go to my website, and explain to them it is difficult to explain my art. I have so many contemporary artists who I love, I can’t even begin to explain their work or my own to others.
Yesterday, I spoke of longevity. Today, I thought about my previous post. I realized my “favorite artists” are individuals that would be known to a select few people on this earth. I decided to share some of these artists with you.
The first artist that I want to speak about is Clyde Connell.I love her and her art so much for simple reasons. She not only had longevity, but she had a DRIVE that is uncanny. There was no reason for her to succeed or gain notice. Oh, her work was phenomenal! However, her circumstance was bizarre. She was a Louisiana woman. For much of her life, she lived in isolation, yet continued to make her untraditional works. She made her art despite objections, weird looks, and suspicious inquiries. In the video Works by Women she mentions her first one-man show occurred when she was 80 years old! I love her work. I love her tenacity. I love her drive. I want to be like that!!!
My next favorite artist posts will be about Fred Tomaselli, Ed Paschke, Rauchenberg, Squeak Carnwath, Betye and Alison Saar, etc. etc.

"Clyde Connell"

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