The opinions of others

Being a producer of art, whatever that is, one is exposed to a whole range of opinions and responses. It’s a fair question to ask “What do you think of the opinions people express about your art?”

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The bottom line is that I am not all that interested in praise or recognition. Rather, I produce paintings as a form of authenticity to myself and as a way of being true to my self. As a social being, I value feeling that my productions have given someone an experience of joy, peace, inspiration or awakened their aesthetic awareness. That is a nice side-effect of what I am doing.

As for the opinions of the art authorities, gallery owners or self-appointed art lords, it’s nice to have a positive review by this kind of person, but for me the art world is mainly a mix of cynicism, commodification of art, prestige-creation, art as currency and spurious claims to being an authority. Art as business.  I have many friends who are very poor and yet I enjoy their art work immensely. The real power of art is as a practice of self-awareness, as a discipline of attention to the world. In this sense, it is more like a daily meditation or a commitment to contemplation.

It is  also inherently a practice of freedom and play. These are the true rewards of being involved in art. Elitism, art snobbery, and the commercialisation of art are antithetical to this real living and burning core of art. I have no problem paying an artist for a piece, but it’s all about the motive and the experience.

Does this make sense to any of you?

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