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The Art of the ordinary Man

December 16, 2014

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As I sketch my ideas out on paper I am becoming more aware of the inherent individuality we each possess and the infinite possibility of our unique lives, differentiated through time and environment. Although we share so much in common, we can never be identical and as circumstances shift through time our existence reminds me of the inevitable infinity of our experiential existence. Through my art I always believed my ideas were finite, limited  to a few conceptual possibilities, but as I’ve explored the equestrian composition, I’ve grown to realise that I was wrong. As with everything in existence possibilities are infinite and seemingly endless, yet as humans we try to limit them into manageable bite-size chunks, so that we may feel in control through a perception of understanding. Claiming ownership through the occupation of morsels held in time, satiating our own insecurities as we cling onto vagaries in the vain hope that they will give us a sense of belonging and meaning. The reality is as always, that although we think we know so much, we really don’t  and our socially engineered lives possibly remove us from the connection we were born with.

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For me this is the crux of what my art is actually about, an attempt to connect with the truth of my existence outside of the parameters of convention, so that I exist within my own framework, a life without rules in which I feel free to explore my human impulse through art. If I took heed of all the documented wisdom, I would simply drown under the weight of others assumptions and that would quite frankly spoil my own journey. I want to live my life as me and not wander around in the shoes of others. I’ll never attain the status of an esteemed scholar and I never try to qualify my thoughts by paying lip service through quoting the great and the good. Most importantly I will never succeed in the eyes of the world because I freely admit that I’m desperately ordinary and that all I have to offer is my touch of reality. But where I will possibly succeed is by living my life, true to who I feel I am and through this approach achieve something close to my potential. I have no choice in this matter because I can’t bear it when my soul is agitated by the repression of conformity and compromise.

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I decided on this direction because of the confrontational and judgemental approach in the art world and wider society that I feel is controlling and eroding the integrity of art. In particular the art worlds manipulation of art into a trivial esoteric delight for a bunch of self-righteous back slapping sycophants. A game with a set of rules honed in the great institutions under the auspices of the establishment. Art pimped by those who wish to elevate their own positions in society bothers me and yet as artists we are expected to chase the big prize of being accepted at the top table. I simply can’t do pretence because I admire integrity and honesty and practicing art has taught me that is all that really matters if I’m to be genuine. I’ve grown to realise that it’s my human right to feel satisfied by my own endeavour and believe in who I am, which is why I reject judgemental hierarchies. Hierarchies which exist for a purpose and subvert the outlook of society into a way of seeing that is both controlling and limited. Again my artistic journey has taught me not to accept any givens and to question all the structures which limit our outlook and confine our lateral possibilities. I write this because I feel it in my reality and through my interactions, I also feel that having experienced the dissatisfaction of living this blinkered life that it could never be truly satisfying for me. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to make core changes to my practice, and that change is really quite simple, because it is really just the intent and trusting in my own ability and relevance.

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I believe art should liberate people from their daily strife, but instead it is used as part of the general oppression, hijacked by the establishment and presented to the public through an elevated rhetoric which firstly intimidates, before informing our ways of seeing. Art has become a self-perpetuating phenomenon reacting to itself in insularity and its purpose has strayed from informing the general public. The reality as I see it is that true art is becoming an underground movement, because that is the only way that you can make art freely within modern capitalist societies. The problem with success is that once the establishment takes hold of your work, it then has to be contextualized and assimilated into the great canon of the elite.

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I once had a criteria upon which I could judge an idea worthy of sculpture, fortunately this has been disproved through my own artistic pursuits. It happened through experimenting with the juxtaposition of horses and figures, an exercise that exposed my aesthetic sensibility as somewhat limited. I guess this still stands as one of my greatest breakthroughs as an artist and has led to the development of hundreds of credible new ideas and now I feel if I stop drawing and make sculpture, that I will be entering the static territory of technical production. I feel in some way that I’ve become a victim of unleashing my creative potential and in the process have exposed the folly of applying it to commercial gains. With a pencil and a cheap sketch pad I feel able to realise all that is important to my journey, whilst existing on a very low-income. And I like this way of life because I’m not burdened or bullied for simply being me and my art is not used as a bargaining chip in a distasteful way. I had until recently allowed the pressures of turning my creativity into commodities nearly destroy me as an artist, which is why I turned to writing. It is a painful process which tears you apart and strips you of your self-respect and confidence as you stumble between the integrity of art and a search for status within society. You end up truly alone facing a situation that you can only resolve by confronting yourself on the deepest of levels and the answers are not simple in the confusion of lifes distractions. I no longer chase the end of the rainbow, because I’m content to enjoy my creativity independently and out of all my work there is a percentage that is viable in the commercial world.

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Bye for now beautiful people ❤

xxx

 

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