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Don’t bogart that art my friend

November 27, 2014


Sometimes I like to put a cat amongst the pigeons, yes I know I’m being provocative 🙂 but how else can I deal with the stupidity of  my struggle. I see things and I’m just supposed to bite my tongue and smile and say how lovely everything is and make pretty art. As an artist you endure a tough life, you’re exposed in every direction and even those close to you turn as they are incapable of understanding the sheer weight of pressure that falls upon one pair of shoulders. Unfortunately I wasn’t born to lie and I wasn’t born to live a passive and complacent life, I appreciated my sacred gift too much to misappropriate it for shallow games.


Making “so-called” art becomes like a meditation, you think and contemplate and look for substantial reasons to work and in doing so you become enlightened to varying degrees. It is not a passive process, but one that evolves over time as you slowly peel the onion of life, one layer at a time and with each layer there is a new discovery. From this silent part of the process I learn the most as I try to put everything into place, but then comes the showing of your wares to interested parties and here, there are major issues.  Major issues because (a.) your subordinated in the hierarchy and (b.) you are judged, and it is not easy for an artist desperate to make a living. The problem I have is that those who judge me and my work are not always best placed to understand my endeavour in their assumed roles, because my attempts in visual expressions are at best complicated and of a very deep nature. Artist’s rightfully feel misunderstood, because quite simply they are and furthermore society is blatantly cruel to artists as it scorns the true values of art. Blinded by fiscal possibilities and unable to feel or understand the intellectual and spiritual value.


As a visual artist I should not have to write and articulate my thoughts through writing, but my treatment as an artist in Britain is shameful and I will not be silenced by an establishment that presides over such injustice and engrained values of elitist dogma. By writing I register my dissatisfaction and speak my truth and I hope that in taking the courage to be honest that my words will resonate with other people who struggle to make sense of a life in art. Equally I happily share all my imagery in the hope that it may be a catalyst for others to pursue ideas that I do not have the energy to explore. Through art we can reach out and touch others and by continuing to work and share my images I am at least achieving something of worth.


As artists we need to forget copyright and all the petty wrangling over ideas and authorship and accept that all these notions of ownership are just elitist constructs that hold us in bondage to a world that is introspective. These values are used as leverage to drive us into narrow channels and buy into a system that is alien to free thinking art of an expansive nature. But the truth is that art has been bought up by the global march of capitalism and the lure of  fame and fortune has swallowed up all but a few stragglers, simply because if you are not at the party, you’re out in the cold.


The misappropriation of art lies at the heart of a deep concern I have about art and it clouds my vision quite deeply. At the cutting edge where art meets with the public, art has already been through a process of selection in which assumptions become actuality as the work is commandeered by those who seek to enforce an agenda. Art becomes a trophy like symbol of empowerment to those who seek to benefit and it is a cruel mix of wealth and ego that often motivates these movers and shakers. This is something that I have witnessed on a few occasions in my own life and it grates with me. To champion the championship art in society really makes you somebody, Mr Big of the superficial world and it is a lure for the flouncy shirt wearing velvet trousered pimps. But this world is further complicated by the financial implications of an establishment that requires Picasso’s (for example) to be worth a lot of money in order to maintain fiscal stability.


I’m afraid that I’m just a very ordinary person and find my self in agreement with the ordinary people who I know who balk at the utter bullshit of the arts establishment.  By ordinary I mean those who are comfortable and content with who they are, that feel no need to socially aspire to a life of pretence, those who feel connected through an understanding of self.


The artists life is complicated and vulnerable to the corrosive nature of society, integrity is constantly under attack and complacency dilutes the potence of bold statements. It is like a hideous trap slowly devouring and subverting your intent into the convenience of bland gestures. There was a time when I could accept it all and when those pillars of convention would say “get over yourself Eoghan” I would just accept it with a smile, but the smile has now been replaced by two fingers.

❤ ❤ ❤

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