We must talk.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
We must talk.
After recent, long discussions with two of my gallery owners, an interesting subject has come up. Its the subject of improvement. The discussions have been about a conflict. An artist improving their skill versus not changing their art to keep a buying clientele.
I find this very disturbing!
Personally my drive has always been to improve upon myself. Upon my art. I think its true for many of you as well. Its a natural thing. An athlete strives to do their best and pushes for more. A musician, a doctor, a scientist, an engineer, every career I can think of, a person benefits from improving their skills. Why is this not true for an artist? How do we come to a place where it is no longer appreciated? Why? Why? Why...
In December one gallery owner talked about a very popular artist in the gallery. This artist painted ladies or children at the beach in a very bright and luminous way. She punched her reds and her yellows glowed. Edges were soft and dreamy, movement was captured and colors were very high-key. Her art was eye catching and her sales were high.
This past summer she arrived with changed art. Still ladies and children at the beach, but minus the huge areas of glow that, to me were sometimes overdone. When he asked why the change, she replied, "I'm evolving. I'm refining my art. I'm becoming a better artist."
Her sales dropped tremendously.
The gallery owner explained to me, in long detail over the phone, how the buying public bought her art because of the unusual glow. He said it was as though there was a light placed behind the canvas. Now her art was dark and even he too didn't like it as much.
Later I went to the gallery. I saw this artist's work. I loved it. In my opinion it had improved tremendously. The glowing was there. I thought the artist had brought new works in to please the owner. These were not dark at all. They were wonderful!
I asked the owner. He said they were the changed art that wasn't selling...
Just yesterday, my conversation turned to this same subject with another gallery owner. He too confirmed it as a fact.
In a struggling economy, where sales are difficult, what does an artist do with this revelation?
I know there's benefit to improving one's art. But does there come a point when it isn't appreciated anymore? Is everyone incapable of seeing improvement, except another artist? Are we the only ones who can appreciate when something was masterfully created?
I'm in shock. I feel confused and crushed. I need to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment.
Posted is a Susan Roux work in progress...