As we continue in our lockdown with very little light at the end of the tunnel, I find myself reading the odd article online and this particular article sort of played right into my ‘big questions’ posts of the last few weeks.
This is the article for you to read through…
And now for my thoughts, cause I know you’re just dying to read them!
“Could behaving horrendously make the art better?“
One of the things we grow up believing (well, I did) is that artists must suffer for their art… that they are troubled people, live difficult lives and often die poor. At least that’s how it seemed to be in the past. Read My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok if you don’t believe me.
Artists are supposed to be moody and troubled in some way. Its the ‘creative’ spirit. You can more easily forgive someone for being a temperamental git if they’re gifted in a creative way. ‘Never mind him, he’s an artist/musician/opera singer’ will excuse a multitude of sins.
I always felt my being prone to depression was part of being an artist.
“Some link the unhinged mind to creativity, as if chaotic living might be evidence of a gift. But chaos doesn’t make for great art. Rather, it sells the artist as great.The wildman is what we devour in artist bios, much as we admire mafiosi on-screen. We who submit to the rules of society, repressing natural selfishness, view outlaws with a shiver of admiration. They enact our fantasies, scoffing at rules, earning respect nonetheless. Nobody relishes a well-behaved artist.”
Is that true? It is true that people see artists as being different – they’re expected to dress a bit different, not conform, be eccentric. If you’re not, then you’re just like everyone else, so how can you be more creative/talented/a genius?
When I was working as a graphic designer for years in office environments, I didn’t have to conform to the same business attire rules as everyone else. I was ‘a creative’… and as such people didn’t just accept me going to work with 102 ear rings in my ears and nose, wearing leggings with striped long socks, mini skirts and ripped Tshirts… they actually expected it.
So, right now I’m too normal to be an artist. There is nothing different about my look. Everyone has extra ear rings. Everyone has tattoos. So many people have nose rings, so dress funner than me. (Its a word if I say it is!)
I may have to dye my hair pink again in order to stand out!
“The industries of culture have a stake in perpetuating artistic myths because an idol is invaluable for marketing. It’s diabolically hard to sell a cultural product on its merits alone. Look around: Nearly all arts publicity is backstory. About the maker. About a work’s origin. About anything except that which was intended to speak for itself.”
And this quote puts into a nutshell what I was saying before about the ‘story’ attached to the work that makes it valuable. Its all about the story, not the work itself any more.
So its a natural extension to my ‘am I an artist’ questions.