With their talent travelling into the future since being born, it is no wonder that living in the present can be a problem for many creative artists. Nevertheless, a genuine artist is more than a label. It is a soul in search of ways to manifest one’s attempts to express their feelings impacted by the perception, views, circumstances and reason for existence. It is said that poverty and suffering do contribute to such deep conscious and subconscious feelings that it finds ways of expressing them. There are also those that being born with a silver spoon or having inherited a fortune, seek something to do as a result of boredom. So, they do indulge also in a variety of artistic explorations in front of the canvas, sculpture, or behind the camera. Others prefer to enjoy the art of depravity, extreme adventure, torturing or killing viciously, funding all kinds of diabolical scams or schemes they find amusing. Others, though, do find refuge behind chosen philanthropies for a variety of reasons, mostly because of inner guilt that they have or made so much money in the face of shifting economies and poverty. Yet, we do find, rarely as it may be, those who do it from simple charitable impulses. An artistic satisfaction of sorts based on realistic endeavors with concrete real results that in many cases help with education and lives saving, especially those of hungry children.
And yet, an artist at heart remains always an artist come what may, though many individuals do not realize or are too shy to admit they are true born artists. For, they are overwhelmed by the grand masters’ works, never mind that most of their creators died in poverty. For, to label one as being an artist it may refer to one’s joviality or good sense of satirical humor. Taken seriously, it may hurt given the crude inferences based partially on truth. Because, without formal professional training, but for sheer experience and the enduring patience that includes rejection or recognition, few artists are content with the quality of their finished work. Those whose passion is not strong enough even though they are quite good and cannot reach the top, give up preferring to live marginally for whatever it is worth. Quite sad, because one never knows how good and accepted they could have become along the years. After all, illustrations of any sort do attract the curious and maybe even a few paying collectors, depending, of course, on the subject and rendering.
Along the years, the word artist has accumulated other semantic connotations given that people simply could not describe one’s expertise in other ways. Like the art of architecture, medicine, and even that of an ingenious car mechanic, though it is correctly claimed that they belong to the sciences sector and not artistry. While some may argue that the word dexterity may apply when one is very good for achieving the optimum, the artist label seems, nevertheless, to elevate above that. Not surprising, con individuals whose crockery is labeled as con artists imply also one’s shroud way of deceiving others. Hence, the importance of qualifying and being very clear to whom we talk about one being a true Artist. Perhaps a clearer description may be the one whose works please and elate the soul, willy-nilly, and if in addition their works do perform more than that, so much the better!
The trouble is that being a free soul artist has its pro and cons like most endeavors or professions that force a reaction. Though artistry and mastery are many a time nuances confused by others, they do attract attention in more than one way. Ultimately, their emotional and spiritual impact is so great that people, even if not private or professional collectors, do pay money to acquire them. Lots of money at that…! Only sometimes such recognition that goes besides casual appreciation happens later than sooner and, many a time, after the artist’s death. Take the well known story of the 19th Century Dutch Master Van Gogh who died very poor. On the other hand, there are a couple of kids, barely past the age of ten, whose paintings are considered so abstract that are fetching and are being snatched for great sums of money! And, there is, of course, that anomaly whereby certain animals are guided to indulge with various paint colors with their paws or even a jaw held brush. When applied on canvas and producing a mish-mash of abstract paintings, some so called experts label it as great new art and market them accordingly. Most probably, they are acquired more as a piece of conversation than actual contemporary art.
Hence, the possible conclusion that the notion of what is art or who is an artist may be only in the eyes of the beholder. But it also could be the result of the mind’s choreography of certain design, illustrations or body movement pattern, if pattern at all. For to trick the untrained brain’s reaction in its duty to alert the mind that there is something there that could be considered art can be an easier task than one suspects. As to who is to make such judgment and based on what considerations, not even the brain wants to take such responsibility. So, why should we?
Essays – Vol. I
Editing: Ileana Matac Arco
©by Ray Arco 3/17/2014