Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"Do it because you love it".....

"Emergences II;   Anima/Animus" (2015)

Sometimes the Oracle speaks.  Sometimes the Oracle Speaks in the form of a Chinese fortune cookie..........

Recently I decided that, since I have so many bodies of work wasting away in closets and boxes  it is time for me to tackle the "Art World".  So I have been dutifully sitting down every day writing Proposals and Applications, pulling out the Art Speak Dictionary, and going to it.

It is a grim business.

For one thing, I feel more "out of it" than ever, a virtual relic in a strange new world of stunningly obscure Artist Statements (what?  what on earth is he saying there?  And what is that thing?)  which sometimes leaves me feeling like it's a bad case of "the Emperors New Clothes". Other times I feel intimidated with it all, and it is clear that I have early onset dementia or I need another MFA because they are speaking a whole new language here.  Everything is so Conceptual now, and so much about technology. Who paints anymore?   And then there is Raw Art, which is a whole other matter.

I learn that I'm too old, and have been around too long, to be an "emerging artist", so that is a buzz word in the applications that stops me in my tracks with a shudder. But most of the stuff to apply to seems to be for "emerging artists", so it's a catch-22.   That makes me, I guess, an "established artist", although I'm not sure where I'm established, since I generally don't get paid for doing art, nor do I have Curators doing Retrospectives of my 40 some years of work.  Darn, I have to do it all myself.

Can you be 65 and  "emerging"?  I always feel like I'm "emerging", but my sense of the word may be somewhat more metaphorical.

I also noticed that, in all those applications, it seems Curators expect to get paid for Curating, but the artists generally have to cover their own costs and don't forget that $30.00 application fee.

I think of it as Artist Bingo.  Sometimes you win.

There seem to be some unwritten rules.  One has to do with subject matter, which has been around for a long time - this is a predjudice toward anything that is too overtly "spiritual" or "religious".  I'm not sure where the Visionaries went either......I don't much see them in the august pages of Art in America either.   Political is good, and highly valued.  Craft and "Beauty" is not, in "high art", much valued, but "Statement" is.  And it seems that the darker and grimmer or intangible the statement, the more Depth and Meaning it seems to have,  No Pollyannas allowed here.

Ok, I'm exagerating.  But I do feel like a relic, and wonder if there is anyone out there that is going to like my stuff enough to let me hang it in a gallery and bring some wine for the Reception.  I love Receptions.

Feeling very depressed by all of this, I went out for lunch to a nearby Chinese restaurant.  And at the end of lunch, what did my Fortune Cookie say?

"Do it because you love it"

Perfect!   And one of the things I realized is that  most of my work are Shrines, Reliquaries, and Icons.  Even the Masks of the Goddess are really a form of mythic Shrine, waiting to be collaboratively activated.  My art is my spiritual practice, my way of conversing with the Divine.  When I work, it centers me, it connects me, it integrates me.   That's all I need to know, really.  Do it because you love it.

Earth Shrine (2007)

2 comments:

Mana said...

Dear One,
I appreciated your blog and was just contemplating how many older women I know in their 80's plus who were great Bohiemian Artists of all different genras. Sadly this is disapearing from my sight. I hope that it is not the end of all the great free thinking artists who traveled the world sharing their art and inspiration. I deeply miss my god mother Loreon Vigne and also Lady Olivia Robertson the New of Robert Graves. We are the pillars that the younger generation is looking to. I recently gave a presentation about the Masks and the great inspirational movement that is rebirthing iteself. I deeply feel so connected to this cause and this work. Thank you for your honesty and your consciousness. Stay strong.. We are here listening and contemplating the next bold move. Winter has us quieter now. We are dreaming and reinventing ourselves and our work. Divine Dreams and Beauty to you.
Much Love,
Mana Youngbear

Rain-in-the-Face said...

If you were an artisan living in Japan, you would classified as a National Living Treasure! Just remember that the majority of the art world is driven by concepts of narcissism, rivalries and the holy grail : Who Has The Most Exhibited Works. Wins.

Ultimately, it boils down to inviting tick-tock clerks with their incessant
demands that you complete forms of submissions into your life. Would you really want the whole of your creative expression to be condensed to a brief synopsis with images submitted no larger than X by X pixels.

Have you come so far just to lay down in a Procrustean bed?