Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Sophisticated Sunday Painter

There are a few channels in the New York art world that support emerging artists, offering us group exhibitions, solo shows, career advice, residencies and sometimes moolah. Candidates are usually considered through open calls. I have been applying to these things for a few years now. I had one success, a show at Living Arts of Tulsa, which was a great experience. This is positive, I realize, but, I’m overwhelmed by the mass amount of rejections. Seems like I never get anything.

And it seems like some of my colleagues always do.

My concern today is: Am I na├»ve to think that an artist doesn’t necessarily have to go through these channels to become recognized? I’d like to think that cutting corners is possible. This is how I’ve mostly functioned anyway through life. (For example, I didn’t study art at all in college, but ended up getting my masters). But, is this just wishful thinking at this point?

And more importantly, when am I just a dilettante? Or worse, simply someone who hasn’t yet understood this isn’t going anywhere?


Vito Pololy-Vincent said...

You're too hard on yourself. If making art is something that gives you satisfaction, and if working as an artist makes you whole, then who cares if others recognize its legitimacy? You make art because in some sense you have to do so in order to be the person you want to be. Of course, I know it's difficult to orient one's thinking in that way. Most creative people want to gain recognition and validation. At the same time, it's been very liberating for me to approach my writing, first and foremost, as a hobby and as something that is pleasurable for me to pursue. It would be a bonus if something else happened with it down the road, but my main objective right now is to just be the best writer I can be, for myself. I also think of our friend Toby. He makes music, not because he wants to become a star or make money as a musician, but because he genuinely loves making music. Would it be difficult for you to approach your art in the same way?

Molly Stevens said...

Marc says this to me all the time. There is a certain logic to it.

But, it's hard to make art in a vacuum. I feel its life depends on it existing in a space outside my head and the studio.

Another concerned friend has suggested getting the work out there in unglorified spaces just so that it gets out there. I have to think about that....