The Cult of Personality

I think that it is important for non-artists to see and understand creative processes. Some artists are coy about revealing their methods and I really can’t understand why. Sometimes a member of the public will see something in a gallery and not understand the level of work that has gone into making it or the philosophy behind it. They will fall in love with what they see but cannot comprehend why it is valued at such an amount. Art is in danger of being seen as some sort of greedy, secret world where there is no connection to the public and no understanding of the differences between conceptualism and craft.

Part of the problem is the way that Art is communicated in the national media. Here it is portrayed as something above and beyond the comprehension of the masses. bizarrely it is also then lumped in with ‘Entertainment’ and only commented on when there’s a juicy story about a Monet, or a highbrow story about conceptual potatoes or ‘feminists’ knitting from inappropriate places. Meanwhile thousands of craftspeople and artisans are pushed even further to the fringes and ditched from the ‘Arts and Entertainment’ section altogether in favour of a story about an alcoholic actor or a failing TV presenter. This cult of personality pisses all over any recognition our home-grown artists deserve and then the Art World in turn doesn’t help through insisting on the use of convoluted philosophical language and… well… potatoes.

There is a whole movement of artists and skilled craftspeople out here who deserve recognition for their work and who are sick to death of constantly falling into the massive chasm which exists between high art and hobbyists, between fad and failure.The UK is a nation renowned for its entrepreneurial skills and in its inventiveness. We Brits should be proud of our ability to make something different and to think outside of the norm. We should be supporting our art industry and making sure all artists are treated fairly. It should not be that art success is rated on novelty, academia, or who you’re socializing with.

I believe the future is in breaking down these barriers through education, communication, and transparency. If I am asking you for a month’s wages then it is because it has taken me a month to make. If you don’t like that size and at that price then you can commission me to make something smaller and less time-consuming. Either way I want you to be content with your experience when you visit my art at a gallery. I want you to go away feeling like you have shared something with me.

If you don’t understand my philosophies then please ask. I want you to understand why I make my art and for you to access it at your level. If you don’t understand something, anything, then challenge me about it and I will endeavour to explain it in a different way. I want you to see the work that I am putting into developing and nurturing my craft. I want you to understand how hard I work at making the beautiful things that you covet when you visit the gallery and then I want you to be able to have them.

This is why I write this blog and why I put it all on the line for you to see. It’s all here, almost four years of daily deliberation, ramblings, experimentation, success, and failure. Challenge me. Challenge Art. Let’s learn and evolve together.

DSC_0065a

‘Self [other] 1’ The first picture I posted on my blog back in May 2011

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2 thoughts on “The Cult of Personality

  1. This is a really great post. I haven’t read your other stuff yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always loved hearing from someone who is so entrenched in what they do that they no longer have an “outsiders” opinion of it. Does that make sense? I’ll give you an example. My friend who is a mathematician (theoretical math…crazy stuff!) told me about his research, and I asked, “what application will that have to the real world?” He and my physicist friend both said, “mathematicians and scientists often don’t do research for its applicability. They do it because they’re curious about something.” It blindsided me and made me realize that I have an outsider’s opinion.

  2. Thanks for the support.

    For me there is no point in communicating only to those who are in the know. Ask your friends about the Fibonacci Sequence and they should be able to explain from that how Art, Math, and Theoretical Physics are all connected.(If they can’t then let me know and I’ll explain it).

    The artist is curious for the sake of curiosity in the same way as scientists are. For me it’s all about seeing that the universe has applications beyond one subject discipline and how these disciplines can be communicated beyond the norm.

    🙂
    M

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