Tonight's post is number 500. I missed two days so I can't really say 500 in a row, but almost. The two days I missed were because I was traveling and I couldn't get online.When I began the blog my intention was to write for a year. I am now well beyond that of course. I still have a lot of ideas about which to write. But when I hit the point where I feel I have nothing more to write about, I will stop and begin raising tropical fish.
Here is a letter,from a man I know to be a fine and competent painter living in a mid sized city. I have abridged it a little to protect the innocent , the identity of its sender and for brevity.
I have no problem with competition, when it is with talented individuals. While it is interesting to see the praise being heaped on people like ???????? and the ???????? . I have no issue with it, other than I feel there are much better painters out there that should be getting similar praise. But that is not my issue.
Mine is with the teaming mass of absolute amateurs that have flooded galleries and museums. It is as if the barbarians have broken through the gates and have taken over. There is so much work out there that just kills my spirit. It is not just work being shown at simple art fairs, but work getting major gallery and even museum shows. I feel like I am in competition with crazy people. My work is judged on the same level as an untrained street person. I am not even talking about the porn art being made by Jeff Koons and his like, I am talking about the soccer mom that has a studio, and now is an artist.
I have been looking for galleries lately, and I take my work in to show them when I set down the art for them to look at, my work is by far the best in the room. It is better in composition, color and impression. The reaction I get is like I have just set a flaming bag of dog extrusions on the floor and asked, "what do you think?"
How does one deal with the fact that there seems to be little respect for ability, quality, and beauty? In fact it seems that today skill is looked at with suspicion, or even that it is an ego trip by the artist being self indulgent.
Basically, I am starting to feel like there is no hope for the art world, that my deciding to be an artists is not unlike me saying "I am going to be a medieval knight and promote chivalry throughout the kingdom!" Most people would be like, "what ever, idiot. "
No one really seems to care about the paintings other than whether or not they fit over their couch and match the color theme of the room. Or maybe I am deluding myself and the work I am doing is just not that good.
I suppose if I were selling I would have a different tune, but I have not sold a significant painting in over a year, and I feel I am doing the best work of my life, and the best work that I am capable of at the moment.
I am going to post my answer to this query tomorrow night. But I have had so much response and positive feedback from the several times recently that I have thrown the question open to readers that I will do that again tonight. So if you have advice for this painter, go to the comments and leave an opinion. If you are reading this, the comments are as much a part of the blog as what I write. There will undoubtedly be some insightful writing, click on comments below and check out what the readers think. See you tomorrow with an answer of my own and blog entry number 501........................Stape