Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Art Blog: There is a Season

I remember when I was younger and just starting to make my way into the art world. I was just as puffed up as any beginning artist. I was going to change the world! It is interesting to see how things have panned out in my art life. I am not complaining. I have had a great art life so far.

No, I am not in major museums or showing at Art Basel right now. I am just an artist making art and knowing I should continue to do so. Nobody is celebrating me. There are no high fives or accolades. I am just an artist doing what I am supposed to do. That is: MAKE ART. In other words, I am in the artist’s 99%. I am just like most other artists.

When I was working towards my first art degree, one artist among others Georgia O’Keefe was all the rage. In 1970, the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited the Georgia O'Keeffe Retrospective Exhibition. This was big news back then and we all heard about it. It was her first major show since 1946. In other words, it took 24 years for her work to be shown in a grand and respectable way. 24 years! Let’s not mention the Stieglitz connection. No. Let’s pretend. Her works were shown at the Whitney just because she was Georgia and her works were brilliant. YES. Let’s think that.

Within just a couple of years, things started to sour for Georgia. She started to lose her eyesight. Enter, Juan Hamilton, the young artist assistant. There was all kinds of drama and speculation with this scenario. I don’t care about any of it. What I always wondered about was the isolation of Ghost Ranch and how she shut the world out during her later years.

Now, I relate. When I first started to learn about Georgia, I just couldn’t get it. I could not understand being all alone in the desert of New Mexico. However, I was young, na├»ve, and in my twenties. The social aspects of any artist’s life were in full force. I needed the drama and action of every art opening I could attend. I needed those human connections. I needed the praise. I needed the commotion of being an artist in full color. Georgia didn’t need that. I didn’t understand how she could stand to be so isolated back then. I do now.

All that social stuff is meaningless to me now. I sure don’t live on anything near akin to Ghost Ranch. In fact, I live in a neighborhood of a midsize city. However, there have been days when I actually posted signs on my front door saying: “GO AWAY!” I just don’t need any of the attention anymore. I want to be alone art wise. I am over that social hump I guess. Just like everything else in life, there is a season. I am in the season of introspection, self appreciation, creativity, and WHO CARES WHAT OTHERS think. I am not that unusual. I think there are others who might understand. I know for sure Georgia would be giving me a high five right now.

What do you really want out of your art life?
Tell me.


JafaBrit's Art said...

yes, I understand :) I embrace solitude and time to just get on with it.

namastenancy said...

This is another post that resonates with me. As I went through my art studio, deciding what to keep and what to throw away, I realized how little art I'd made there that I liked. The pieces that I liked, that I felt were the best, were made in my home studio (aka, bedroom in my apartment that I've converted into an office/studio space. I saw a lot of paintings that I'd made to "sell" trying to second guess the visitors to our twice a year art openings. It's a relief to close down a space that was expensive for me and where I never felt at home. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing where my creativity will take me. I just put up another folder in my flickr account this one of charcoal drawings based on images from Ancient Egypt. It was so peaceful to work in my home studio late at night, not having to worry about ventilation (old space so full of dust it made me sick, safety (old studio is in an iffy part of time), or transportation (old studio took an hour by bus to get there). I do care what my friends think but as most of them prefer hyper-realism, realize that what I make will never please them. At this point, c'est la vie. I'm in this to please myself and what could be better. Link to flickr account if you are interested: