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The gesture of Art

March 5, 2015


As I move forward in a lighter and healthier way with my art I feel that I’ve learned so many lessons, but above all I’m reminded of ego and how art can be stained and blinded by it. In the culture of celebrity and the traditions of art as an establishment play thing, I have grown to realise that art can be subverted by the frailties and insecurities that nurture ego.


I’m very much a product of my circumstances and my battles with ego have been salutary lessons,  always leading me back to the drawing board to consider the authenticity of my creativity. I really don’t make art to show off in search of praise and yet I’m so often misunderstood by those that have judged me according to their own criteria. My art is not about a search for praise and a celebration of personality, but instead it feels like an obligation and even a duty at times in which I feel compelled to offer a much-needed perspective. An alternative perspective which reminds people that art is a fundamental right to all of us and a vital ingredient for a healthy life.


The problem is that praise or success have never moved me, only serving as a distraction and as I get older I have grown to realise that my only satisfaction in life is through the fruits of my creativity regardless of reaction. I know what I’ve achieved through my own vision and I’ve reached the point where I believe in myself without any external validation. I have always taken the tough choices as opposed to selling out for the superficial gains and I really feel that I’ve made the right choices. The right choices because I have developed as an artist in a gritty and raw way, finding my truth and what I feel is a profound understanding of art. An understanding of art which cuts through the bullshit of vanity and ego and exposes creativity as a raw instinct of humanity. None of this pompous pretence as people indulgently mull over the finer points of art, exposing themselves and their vanities as they desperately hope to climb the social ladder.


Socially people often wear art like clothes, using it to define their status as a vain trapping and the problem with this is that artists become seduced by these societal values. Before you know it we have an elite club defined by those in the know and art is the victim subverted through the vanities of elitism. Thirty years of silently witnessing the art world has taught me much, but most importantly it has shown me that I always had a choice of which path to follow. To put it simply I could have chased a superficial success or I could have chased my own creative integrity and I will be the first to admit that I got caught between the two until I was ripped apart. In fact I was so damaged in the end that I really didn’t know who I was anymore and while this may appear slightly negative, it has in fact been the most powerful lesson of my life. The lesson which cut me free and bit by bit allowed me to objectively deconstruct my whole existence before rebuilding with the values that I believe in.


Finally I’ve been forced to approach art in my own unique way because I could no longer follow the assumed protocols of an art world with values and aspirations that feel alien to my own instinct. The problem was that it took me nearly thirty years to understand and find the confidence to freely and openly explore my possibilities. The problem is that society programmes us and we become indoctrinated without ever really knowing and in my own case it was only through profound dissatisfaction that I really awakened and found my own way. I came to understand that unless I realised my truth that my whole life could be lived in vain and that would mean a catastrophic failure and something that I could only view as a complete tragedy. And this is why I struggle and fight, so that I can stand proudly and feel that my life is worthy.


Yes I do take my life seriously and I do believe in my possibilities because that is all I am and yet as an artist living on the margins I have had to fight for this. Fight because as an artist one is constantly under scrutiny and at the mercy of judgement. After all isn’t this what artists are, like punch bags, they make work and try to show it to the world, and they say don’t shoot the messengers lol. So as an artist you need great sensitivity and empathy to feel and explain life, yet you need the strength to withstand the reactions so that you can work without compromise.


Compromise is the buzz word of my life and stands as my artistic enemy, it always has and it always will and that is for two reasons. The first one is that I believe the whole art world operates through compromise and secondly that compromise leads to a subversion of true art. I feel this because I look at art as a purist and I do this because I want to be able to understand and define art for myself. If I work my whole life as an artist I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to understand and define art in a pure way. So I don’t follow fashions and trends, no instead I use my life to explore and define through my own means and methods. And I must add that I don’t arrogantly seek truths beyond my own or assume that my conclusions are anything beyond my gestures, which I offer into the mix.


As an artist I’m becoming more and more liberated and I know that through my thinking, I’m touching on some quite profound areas, raising many questions and finding a few answers. I’m not celebrated as an artist and my work  is not widely circulated, which is fine because I’m comfortable working in my obscurity and isolation. I openly share all my work and thoughts in the virtual world because that is the duty of an artist and by doing this I feel satisfied that I make my gesture.

❤ ❤ ❤

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