Monday, September 17, 2007

Thanks, but...

I’ve said it before, aren’t artists lucky to have Roberta Smith? She’s our advocate.

In her article yesterday on the Büchel-Mass MOCA controversy, she concludes:

“Never underestimate the amount of resentment and hostility we harbor toward artists. It springs largely from envy. They can behave quite badly, but mainly they operate with a kind of freedom and courage that other people don’t risk or enjoy. And it can lead to wondrous things.”

Doesn’t that make you feel good? Don’t you wish your mother would defend you like this?

But then I stop to think.

What’s so great about us artists? As a “class,” we aren’t unified. We certainly don’t set a moral example. And we definitely have an ego problem. Often times we think we’re making “wondrous things,” we think we’re being “free,” but for the most part, the work of an artisan, a civic leader, or a good psychologist is much more impressive and effective.

If an artist is propelled by a freedom and courage – and I do think this is a goal – then it is a privilege, and should be recognized as a responsibility.

As for me, I’m too bogged down by a sense of responsibility to attain any of that freedom and courage.

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