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The Accidental Existensialist

September 24, 2015

388

Sometimes I feel the need to describe the reality and struggle of being an artist in contemporary society. I do this for two reasons, the first being that I believe it is my responsibility to communicate as an artist and secondly If I didn’t air my frustrations, I feel that I may just explode. So by writing I vent my frustrations and live a calm life, working without the rage of being that misunderstood artist.

Existing within the system imposed by the art world hierarchy is an impossibility for me because of my aesthetic values, my belief in technique, my intuitive creativity and all the values I hold as an artist are not upheld in the collective thinking. The crazy thing is that I’ve often been denied the title artist because my techniques were labelled as craft or applied art and so in effect I’ve always been cast into the margins, where my work has been misunderstood and under valued. This aspect of my life has had a deep impact upon my psyche, where I’ve even struggled to call myself an artist at some points. I took it on the chin in silence for many years but I’ve grown to hate being patronised and no longer tolerate it.

Inside I know that what I do is right for me and I feel that my approach to art is a significant one, even if it leads to a life of penury and creative isolation. Somebody wrote to me once saying that my work will probably be recognised after my demise, in the time of my grandchildren and I think that is probably optimistic lol. But for now my life’s mission has very much changed and I look only to develop the conceptual aspects of my work, which I do through drawing and a few small sculptures. I’m guilty of a bit of naivety because I never realised how hard life could be and just how hard you have to fight to realise a simple artistic vision. In fact I’ve had to change from the sculptor  who once was content to dwell on a few concepts to an artist concerned by dynamic developments in the moment. I dare to now even say that part of my practice has become slightly existential.

As an artist I’ve not been nurtured by the institutional systems in place, in fact my experience has been quite the opposite. In one sense I’ve been bullied into submission at times in order to conform and my art has been compromised through the over bearing pressures of society. But somehow I maintained my spirit of rebellion and defiance, but it has taken me untill now to finally stand up and make the art of my truth. I realised that I faced a choice of being defeated and living out my life with a meaningless production of work for the art market or making a difference with my own existence. Making art that is true to every aspect of my being and felt so deeply that it’s almost unbearable. Art that is so compelling to me that I fall asleep in the early hours with a pencil in my hand and wake up a few hours later looking for a pencil and piece of paper.

It’s been a crazy life for me, which is inspiring for my work but challenging for my equilibrium. My issue is that I don’t believe in the way societies have coralled art into convenient confines, which have imposed (what for me are) the wrong values on art. It’s my belief that money has paved the way to a degeneration of values which have slowly eroded the sanctity of creativity and directed it into the narrow confines of a contrived evolution. An evolution which has taken us through countless artistic movements, in what I feel is a chronological convenience. Artistic movements reacting to artistic movements in an ever more incestuous environment, as raw human creativity slowly withers away under a regime of what is an indoctrination of theoretical supposition. Art without freedom or truth to the human spirit, art confined by fashion, expectation and adherence to the “ism’s” of the day. Aesthetics counting for nothing in the endless production of stuff, paraded as art because we are told it’s art.

I as an artist wan’t to make art that feels real and connects me with my fundamental desires to create and with other people too, but it’s not easy. In fact I’m really starting to question why there is so little interest in art, particularly in the UK and why people seem fearful to engage with art unless it is famous and known. I think I know the answer to that question, it’s two fold, firstly the educational system and secondly the fact that art has been hijacked by the elite tiers of society.

Art is a basic right for all of us and I believe we all have the innate intelligence to understand it without the interference of critics, academics, and self proclaimed curators. But we need to be empowered to realise our own potential and allowed to believe in ourselves, something which art can touch within us. I believe that true art is like a nourishment for the soul, a way of connecting with the depths of our existence, a trigger for an internal dialogue. In my opinion real art provokes a reaction within and moves us in mysterious ways and as an artist that is all that I’m interested in at the moment.

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 Have a beautiful day ❤

 

2 Comments
  1. gkazakou permalink

    Ι dont know wether your art will be recognized one day, but anyway that wouldnt help you much, perhaps it would make it even more difficult because of the laws of fame. Go on without being too angry, but with gratefulness for being an artist.

    Like

    • Hi and thanks for your comment, wise words 🙂 I do struggle to ditch my anger and just celebrate what I have. I think being an artist is a privilege and an honour which is why I strive for integrity. But whatever happens I feel that I’ve achieved something worthwhile through my dedication to art.

      Like

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