So, the perpetual issue of how to justify one’s art to one’s self. It’s not like I am earning any income from it! I attended a talk at Norwich School of Painting on the topic of painting for a gallery. All good straight-forward stuff about how to de-risk yourself in the eyes of the gallery through accreditations such as winning competitions, proving existing sales etc. Alongside, the importance of a professional social media presence. Key bit of intel was that you paint consistently for a given gallery and that you can explain clearly and quickly what your painting is about. Am I ‘gallery-ready’? I don’t think so! A smattering of sales across the past few years and interests that are hardly tourist friendly (bar a few visitors to the witchcraft museum).
I also watched an artists’ video by Joe Morzuch, a still life painter in the manner of Uglow. Structure and measuring at the centre of the practice. Interestingly he shows that perception of objects in space breaks down because of the way we see things – of course! What we see is virtual ( I say this with a little smile) and those of us who have developed VR are well aware of this. Morzuch – now an art educator – was a bin collector and his still lifes (lives?) are often of rubbish – bits of old net, traffic cones, concrete blocks. Lovely stuff in the age of the throw-away Anthropocene. Recently he’s been working on still life of himself – multiple versions of different sizes. This work is exacting but also existential. Obsessive – a form of madness for exactitude. I like his work. I think my madness is not shaped by the need forexactitude!
A good friend of mine – who pointed me to the Morzuch video advised me that I should slow down, be more measured in my work. When he said this, I felt that was right, but then I asked myself why would I do that….what is it about me and my art…is about slow art? Should it be? As I write I am not sure – perhaps doing slow art is the subject of my next sprint (loving the contradictions of terms). Another friend, also an artist and art educator suggested that my acquisition of ‘slow’ skills flew against the outsider qualities of the art that I had been making. Outsider art is not about galleries or selling, it’s inherently different and outside the machine. So, all in all, doubt…what is this all about, this making art for me? Where is the clarity of purpose that is required for ‘gallery artist’? I feel like I’ve fallen between so many different stools. All that’s left – she says talking up to herself – is to just make work and not succumb to the inertia when faced with a branching narrative. Back to Sprint 1. Living with the doubt.
Joe Morzuch artist talk video: