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Few words on an artist’s condition…

Don’t be too over­whelmed by the title. It’s meant to be too big to what I’m going to write here… I just need a sort of its intel­lec­tual chal­lenge to re-start me again for the ATSH, which I was forced to neglect by some tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties… To every­one who doesn’t know — I’m a con­trib­u­tor to this site and hop­ing to make most of David’s cour­tesy to let me be here and address you, my audience…

So, today few loose reflec­tions on what I con­sider as an expe­ri­ence of being ‘a con­tem­po­rary artist’. First of all, I must say I’m intensely reluc­tant to use the word when refer­ring to myself and my iden­tity. And it isn’t merely due being ‘just’ an art stu­dent, but it seems to be rooted in my deep belief that, what a human being under­goes in a long, com­plex process of mak­ing (cre­at­ing) of what art crit­ics will call ‘an art­work’ can­not be expressed in a one, semi­ot­i­cally dis­torted and cul­tur­ally mis­un­der­stood and abused (just have a quick surf around ‘artis­tic’ pages — any­thing now can be called ‘art’ and any­body ‘an artist’) term. Who am I then? — some­body study­ing, mak­ing, deal­ing with art, some­body strug­gling with artis­tic means to find myself — that belief will (hope­fully) never change. If so called ‘art-world’ (art lovers, crit­ics) will name me even­tu­ally ‘an artist’ one day I will feel rec­og­nized and appre­ci­ated, but it always be a sort of a sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of my activ­i­ties, putting ‘a label’ in order to ‘classify’.

Czes­law Milosz, one of my favourite poets had tried twice his poet­i­cally non-compromising def­i­n­i­tion of what does it mean to be ‘an artist’; and his under­stand­ing, both quite roman­tic and yet clas­si­cal, is worth to be dis­played here. So, first of all, it reminds of being a child in a world made by adults and con­se­quently — to be always vul­ner­a­ble and ready enough to hear their indulging laugh­ter… And sec­ondly — it’s a deci­sion (a sane one yet tran­scend­ing the ‘com­mon sense’ level) of let­ting one­self to be the land of demons that rule here as if they were at home and speak numer­ous lan­guages — it means to be like an always open house, with­out a key in the doors, so your invis­i­ble guests get in and leave with an ease…

An artist (should write ‘a gen­uine one’ but there are no ‘fake artists’, just like an Art — it’s true or isn’t art) then would be less a strong, self-confident indi­vid­ual of the per­son­al­ity sharp as a knife and being dri­ven by an above-average ambi­tion and inge­nious ideas (Picasso’s , Damien Hirst’s type) but more — an extremely sen­si­tive, open, always curi­ous, inno­cent and naïve in a sense (as a delib­er­ately adopted atti­tude) char­ac­ter; so com­plex that appear­ing as sim­ple, so pow­er­ful that let­ting him­self to be a sort of ‘a medium’ for what is tran­scen­dent, super­nat­ural (Mark Tobey’s name comes to my mind). Does one have to be born this way, or — is it pos­si­ble to ‘made’ an artist out of noth­ing pre­ex­ist­ing in him/her innately? How does it all trans­late into func­tion­ing in this very world of “dead” God, ‘thirsty’ deal­ers and agents, traf­fic jams, mort­gages, hyper­mar­kets, rip-off men­tal­ity? Self-deceiving, com­pro­mises, psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tur­bances?
No, I don’t want you to get an impres­sion that I pose for a mar­tyr or a vic­tim… More I think about me and oth­ers being luck­ily ‘con­demned’ to art more I believe that the game is worth all the invest­ment and much, much more… It’s this sort of a chal­lenge that, liv­ing in the ancient times when gods were still alive and kick­ing, you would say: ‘I’ve been touched by some­thing that is greater than me, and I will never be the same man again. And it’s like a burn­ing fire some­times, but I wouldn’t exchange that for all the wealth of this world’

Sorry if sound­ing sen­ti­men­tal… Greet­ings to all art-aficionados…

Posted in personal, the art world.

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3 Responses

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  1. Laurie Landry says

    I found this post­ing very inter­est­ing to read and would like to share this lit­tle piece of nugget from Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland:

    Con­sider that if artist equals self, then when (inevitably) you make flawed art, you are a flawed per­son, and when (worse yet) you make no art, you are no per­son at all!”

    In other words, there are many paths an artist can take towards mak­ing art. It is up to us to explore these paths and find the path that is ours to take.

  2. katarzyna says

    Lau­rie Landry, Thanks for your kind com­ment and the truth­ful quote. All the best to you.

  3. Laurie Landry says

    Upon re-reading my mes­sage, par­tic­u­larly the quote — I real­ize that it may be taken out of context.

    I should have added that the point the authors was mak­ing with that quote is that it’s ridicu­lous, of course, to think that. You are still a per­son, a beau­ti­ful, cre­ative per­son, and if you make flawed art, it doesn’t mean that you’re flawed. Not at all. You’re still a beau­ti­ful, cre­ative per­son who can keep on mak­ing beau­ti­ful art, and the more you do, the less flawed it becomes. Don’t worry about labels — you paint for your­self, not for the “art world”. You are an artist, regard­less of whether any­one calls you an artist or not.

    You still have to walk your path, though. :)

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