This is what I was referring to with the art world as it stands. Don’t get me wrong, I admire someone who can sell paintings for 2mil and I am not one to comment on the nature of the art itself (in fact his latest exhibition sounds fascinating) but one comment particularly got to me:
“I don’t like the idea that it has to be done by the artist, I think it’s quite an old fashioned thing,” he said.
“Architects don’t build their own houses,” he said, adding that his assistants are better painters than him anyway. “You’d get an inferior painting if it’s done by the artist.”
I grant that the concept is a lot of the nature of art but I tend to think that skill and technique comes into it and that if you are releasing a selection of paintings with your name on it, you should have painted the majority of it. I have no problem with having help with the blocking (much in the same way that having someone chop the vegetables helps a chef) I hate blocking. But at what point does the artist step in? At what point does it stop being their work? Or is it always in fact their piece because they came up with the concept? Are all my nudes in fact Goya’s? Are all sketches of people in reality grog’s- who penned the original figures on the cave wall?
Traditional artists have long used assistants and students to help them along and this is fine but these works are always worth proportionally as much as the artist contributed.
What happens when the assistants want their own career and name? If they are better (as stated above) do they become superior artists? What happens to those collaborative works then?
Is modern art the death of technique and skill and artistic talent? Is this what all the grand masters have worked towards? These thoughts plague me constantly; I’m worried I don’t have what it takes to make it as an artist in the modern world. I don’t always feel a need for my art to have social and political meanings or to cause deep and philosophical musings on the nature of existence. Don’t get me wrong, I can bullsh*t with the rest of them and make up whatever (look at some of my previous posts for my musings on possible meanings of my art) rest assured I have made it all up. I like an image or a shape or something, right now it is nudes, and I paint it. The meanings come later.
This said- I am planning a collection or two that will have meanings behind them. This is because research has shown that galleries only seem to show paintings and shows that have a coherent theme and preferably a meaning. I find it very hard to design a theme like this, my artwork just tends to fall into a meaning when it is done, like the sculpture concealed in a stone, I Don’t know what it will be when it comes out or the feelings it will create. I think that is a lot of the joy about painting; it’s a discovery for me too. So my basic concepts for collections are very rough, a wide boundary for me to express within. This way I am not sacrificing something that is becoming an artistic philosophy. I feel art should involve sticking to your personal ideals. This could mean defending something everyone is offended by or choosing to stick to a technique or not conforming or whatever floats your boat.
As this seems to have become my art diary I will start a series on my favorite artists soon, what inspires me about them and how I feel they adhere to their own ideals. As I am starting studies again in may this will be very helpful.