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My complex simplicity

October 23, 2014

No75

I’ve sold a few sculptures lately and I also have a few orders which is a relief and should keep the wolf from the door, so that I can continue to focus on my work. It’s incredible how my approach to art which is fundamentally simplistic can create such a complex web and struggle. Though I do see capitalism as an enemy of freedom and a great diluter in the art world, through its insidious desire to market and exploit any opportunity or desire, often side swiping developing concepts and holding them in a level of stasis, so that they can be milked for all they can. The culture of looking for the next big idea is really a complete trivialization and a distraction in the developmental arc of society, like a great lottery in which we all invest our efforts for the purpose of self gain and becoming a best seller with our futures secure. The problem is that art evolves during the life of an artist and that looking for a finite statement for commodity and fame serves only to limit the outlook into the narrow confines of conformist dogmas. Going against the grain is hard because there is a social pressure on us all to pay for our way, one that is enforced through an implication of attitudes and the disrespect shown towards those with least money, who are often labelled sponger’s. But as I keep saying art is not about money as proven by Van Gogh and how the world would have been deprived if he had not had the tenacity and drive to realise his potent vision. His gift to the world is a priceless contribution yet his life was a desperate struggle to survive and though it should serve as a great lesson to civilisation, it hasn’t. It would appear that it’s still ok to look at artist’s lifes as romantic struggles of penury, a clichéd stereotype of suffering, but the reality is severe and takes you to the uncomfortable edge. For all that I have endured in my own life, I can still smile but it takes great character to survive and keep going, when I was younger I could ignore all the side swiping and patronising gestures, like water of a ducks back. But now I stand firm and defend my actions against any disparaging comments, because I have arrived where I am through an immense personal struggle and all I do and make comes out of a hard-earned self belief. I can walk tall in my ragged trousers because my journey has taught me a lot and my dignity is intact. I never sold out or took the easy way and always saw my art as the priority, my big little voice as true as I could make it and whilst I chose to let my art lead the way, I must deal with the consequences. Though my thinking and resolution I’ve become too profound to trivialize my work and so now I stride forward with conviction and belief and realise through my art all that I feel is worthy. Just what that will be is not even within my grasp yet because as always I have no plans, routines, or agendas, just the art of my being. No pretension, no bullshit just doing what I believe in with total conviction. My definition of true art is centred around a profundity that requires nothing less than a total commitment to realising a unique vision, regardless of distractions.

I had a dream too

The last few years have been very complicated for me, but it was vital that I covered the ground to establish greater maturity on my outlook of life and art. I needed to get real, no matter what it took and I feel that I’m nearly there, strengthened by my experience. I feel that I have elevated myself and my art to a more significant level, though I’m still grounded by the humility of an honest approach to a life in art that will always be a great struggle, that is if I’m going to get anything out of it. I’m always so profoundly aware of my inadequacies yet I try not to let this stand in my way, by using these insecurities as a factor to fuel and motivate my determination. I finally learned that in art there is no room for compromise and that true art speaks through a single-minded determination and belief that is unwavered by the myriad of interpretations and perceptions. But this takes great courage to stand up and do whatever you feel is right, but if you’ve earned that right through endeavour such as my thirty years of dedication, you have no choice unless you are willing  to sacrifice your life’s meaning and purpose. As an artist I stand alone, I have my voice and I believe in myself, I’m fulfilling my potential and beyond, with work that is covering a broad swathe  of ideas and medias. In short I’m doing all I can to express a profound authenticity that is independent of any system,  but driven by a need to realise a timeless quality of humanity. An existence governed by intuition, connection, intellect, heart and soul, because this is all that I value in my life and all that I have ever valued.

high

I don’t seek happiness or see it as relevant to my life, but I do seek a type of enlightenment through my dedication to art, I want to grow as a person and feel that my life is worth living. So in that respect I feel that I search for a level of contentment, the contentment of being continually challenged and overcoming hurdle after hurdle as I grow in knowledge and understanding of the sacred gift of life. These values differ greatly from societies expectations and I realise the price to pay for following my own path will be a level of marginalisation, particularly because my belief is an ongoing challenge in which I will probably never arrive at an absolute conclusion or belief. It helps that I make accessible art and from my approach there will always be work that sells because I put everything into it, because it’s my passion and that has to shine through, the love and preciousness of creativity is intimate and sacred. And so I uphold these values and always will, which is why I will never truly fit in, because these values are not valued in the contemporary art world. The truth is that I don’t want to fit in or indulge in any superficiality, because with that comes expectations, ownership, and questionable dissemination from conformist ideologies. All of which is superfluous to the authentic art of an individual who takes responsibility of their own direction in order to reach a potential that only they are aware of. I believe that this is the profound duty of art, the human gift that requires the utmost respect but few take this complicated path because it is blocked by society and institutions alike. Art trivialized and owned used for kudos and diluted into performance, categorised and commoditized in grandiose displays of elitist nonsense. I believe we feel real art deep inside and we can all sense bullshit, with my own art I tried to make a valid contribution to the art world but I wasn’t accepted and there was no respect for my endeavour. This saddens me a little and weights heavily in my thoughts, I know that my opinion is just that of a humble individual, powerless beyond the art I produce in my obscurity. But it’s complicated, because as my ideologies have evolved over the years, I have grown to believe in them sufficiently to have dedicated my life to them to the point where I try only to follow what I believe to be my truth.

 

The big small step

 

So now I’ve taken that one step beyond in order to continue the development of my work, which will describe this journey, though having made this leap, there is no going back because I cannot unlearn my knowledge. I feared this move and acceptance of a realisation but remaining within the tight parameters of the art world was suffocating me and holding back my art. So much so that it has taken nearly four years to off load my build up of ideas through an insane regime of drawing, sculpting and writing. Through this period the lack of sleep and sheer intensity has left me deeply exhausted and as I rest and recharge my batteries, I know that I have cleared my path and shown the courage to live out my life on my terms. I feel I’ve learned the hard way that compromise has no place in the art world, and that to aspire to fame, wealth and adoration is a mere distraction and get out clause for the harsh reality of hard-earned integrity.

 

No68

 

Hold your horses

 

 

 

❤ ❤ ❤

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