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The ART of Inconvenience

April 11, 2014

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Being an artist isn’t always easy, at the moment money is so tight that I’m drawing in the cheapest sketch books that I can find, am I angry about this? of course I fucking am. But  you know what? that anger drives me straight down the route of being brutally honest about life and the thin veil of civilisation that covers our realities. As an artist you get to see life for real, you mix with all classes of people and get a good look behind the scenes of life. The tougher your life is the more you find out about self-deception and slowly you see it for real, the indoctrination, the bullying of the free spirits in society  and you feel the pressures of life for real. As an artist you have a voice and a means of communicating your experiences and perceptions of reality, though it might make you unpopular because the truth is not so convenient. A strong and earnest voice speaking out about life is never very popular because it undermines the security of those who hide from their truths, my experience as an artist has left me with no choice but to pursue the options that I do. In my life I’ve discovered an art world that is governed by less ethical principles than I expected and the price for this is a dilution of art and as I’ve dedicated my life to art, I don’t take this lightly. I despise the pretence and elitist nature of an establishment steeped in ignorance and blessed with arrogance, a hierarchical construct reflecting and supporting the injustice of an unfair society. So I will speak out about it and cast my pebble, I want to know as much about the truth as possible and live a life with my eyes open. I’m finding my freedom through art, slowly but surely and in the end I will be that artist that I once dreamed of being, driven by truth and integrity.

 

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Artists get a raw deal in society and are expected to compromise their integrity to fit within fairly narrow parameters. The result of this is diluted art for convenience, which short changes the public and undermines the credibility of contemporary art. As a practising artist of nearly thirty years I’ve faced a never-ending obstacle course that has hampered my journey through life and put immense pressures upon me. Just surviving as an artist has been a challenge, but maintaining my integrity has been my greatest battle and for many years I silently took the knocks, by just absorbing them and moving on. But there comes a time when you can no longer accept the indignity of it all and you have to fight back, to stand up and reclaim your dignity by finding the strength to express yourself without compromise. To just have the confidence, to express yourself in any way that you see as fit, takes great courage, particularly when you make things that you know no one will like. Art is not just about making things that people will like or being clever, It’s about an expression that you feel an urge to make, a communication with a meaning or comment on or about life. But truth is being sacrificed in contemporary life as we become prisoners through economic dependence, a value is placed on everything and when no one likes a work of art it has no value and that reflects on our perception of the artist. So as an artist the dynamics of the modern world are a massive challenge and in my own work I’m addressing this through various means, but chiefly by polarizing my own work into extremes. By doing work that I term anti-art I’m giving myself the space to express myself with a growing freedom in which I feel able to challenge the values that govern my life and express the feelings that my life brings to me. But in a way I can only do this because I have proved myself in a more conventional way and built up a strength and thick skin so that I can ride out any reactions or lack of them that come my way. I often say that art isn’t about pretty pictures to hang on walls and I really believe this, for me it’s about offering a different perspective on life and stimulating a response. I post a lot of work on social media sites these days and it’s often met with a mute response, at one time this bothered me and made me want to work towards positive strokes, but now I don’t mind because I have to do what I feel is right, after all that is what artists do.

 

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2 Comments
  1. universalpeacepipedreamer permalink

    Hey, Eoghan, Well said ! Hey I read this last night, and was really moved by it, I have been a sleep at the wheel, you woke me back up, Thanks. Compromise and conformity are the antithesis of art. I wouldn’t take the mute responses in a bad way, you say some very profound things, that really make a person think, for me it’s hard to say anything when I have ingested some heavy food for thought. You’re a really inspiring spirit, and I have gotten a lot from visiting your blog, I am ready to get back after it. To think about ones art in some a-holes trophy cabinet, is like fingernails on a chalk board. Got to dig that Tibetan and Navaho sand art, for just such reason. Dude, you are a Top-Shelf artist, that don’t kiss rings ! Peace J.A.M.

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    • Thank you so much for your comments, sometimes I need a bit of encoragement to go that bit further. It’s extraordinary once you start playing with honesty because it deconstructs what we take for granted. I feel that art and life are too important to sacrifice with compromise, and I’m compelled to keep writing as openly as possible. 🙂

      Like

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