The homogenising parameters set by galleries and curators that so to speak “matter” in the art world seem to generally dictate the way artists fine tune their self-image and their process of execution. The profession nowadays comes with high expectation. It is interesting to observe how the regulating factors affect the modern artist. Whether the set parameters induce more productivity or trigger the sense of rebellion against the organising forces. Whether it ostracises the ones whose creative approaches cannot be confined within the framework and if some have found ways to work around it.
As an integrated participant of this phenomenon, the desire to believe that not one circumstance is set in stone appears to conflict with the experience of some of my fellow artists. Perhaps I haven’t discovered where I stand yet. The reports I have been collecting and that I will continue archiving post-article will hopefully shed as much light on the subject for me as it will for you. As a discretionary measure, the artists involved will remain anonymous.
Exhibit A, a successful young artist from Berlin whose focus is on scientific research claims that he doesn’t want to veer away from the “German stereotype” . However eccentric he may be, his self-image has been perfectly crafted not to hinder his financial growth within the business. According to him, purchasing a sports car, which is one of his secret fantasies, is negatively seen in his modern culture. Ironically, the bohemian look equals more success and financial revenue in that part of the world. Reacting to what is accepted culturally fashions his place within the market. But since technology has transformed the micro into the macro, it is necessary to place each individual on a global platform.
Exhibit B, an internationally renowned New York painter who started on the streets was able to transcend the cultural barrier and speak to the world through his work. Even though his inspirations were very local, he triggered international curiosity in a short period of time. It is important to mention however that he was met with a lot of resistance from the press. The pressure and adoration deemed itself destructive for this young talent and ended his life at the age of 27. Whichever way one chooses to perceive this turn of events is subjective. However the elements at play do include the interference of the trade.
Exhibit C, a type that comprises most of the artist diaspora, is a young individual whose work isn’t defined by a medium. In this post Marshal McLuhan age who popularised the concept: “the medium is the message”, this artist’s approach seems to be inventing the post modern tradition of the “anything goes”. Complete freedom and discard of a linear process, his inspiration comes directly from the material at hand. Consistency being almost a necessary rule to curatorial consideration, he remains unknown as are most artists of our time. Perhaps once the art market changes its motto and form will we get to appreciate and popularise the unknown artist. In a world where reputation precedes the quality of the work, exhibit C will not receive the acknowledgement he deserves.
After this lesson in the ABC’s, I feel the need to extemporise. The element of chance, the joker in the deck is always dealt at some point in the game. In the play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead by Tom Stoppard, Guil declares:”The scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defense against the pure emotion of fear”. Not before the obsessive dissection of what art should be generated by the phobia of a none-lucrative enterprise is replaced with a new inspired format will we be able to witness a tilt in the cultural scales. Behold. This may occur with a flip of a coin.