Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I was in a gallery yesterday, watching a new exhibition being hung. While I was there a guy came in to collect some of his pictures and to drop off some new ones. They were large drawings which seemed, to me, to have some archetypal imagery in them (people with antlers on their heads, for instance).

The manager of the gallery asked him “if people ask me what these are about, what should I tell them?”

There followed a lot of umming and ahhing and muttered comments like “I don’t know really …” “I guess they’re kind of …” “They’re sort of …”.

I thought “oh my god”.

I wanted to sit down with the guy and give him some coaching. Help him to organise his thoughts; to explain his story; ask him lots of questions so that he would clarify what his pictures were about; help him to refine his answers. He had a golden, one-off opportunity – and he blew it.

And I do the same sometimes.

I was asked about my art at the weekend and I found myself stumbling over my words. Part of it was shyness, part of it was not wanting to be poncey and talk ‘art bollocks’, but part of it was also that I haven’t properly worked out the story I’m telling, and a lack of confidence in telling it.

I want to be less reluctant to be enthusiastic about my art. I want to be able to start a conversation about it; for people to be able relate to the story.

I want to be someone who says “Well …” and then launches into an engaging story full of humour, insight and enthusiasm.

I want my art – and me - to be public, not private.

Comments:
I can so relate. I to have stumbled over my words because I get so excited about my work. I want people to as me questions and gather their own interpretations of what they feel my pieces are to them. Then we can hold a meaniful conversation. feel me???
 
Love Strokes : thanks for dropping in and for commenting. I looked at your blog as well and love your art.

I'm curious ... how did you find my blog?
 
I was random surfing on google blog search.
 
I was told once that you shouldn't explain your art but let it mean different things to different people. Must admit to asking people what they think before I add my comment.
 
I always answer this way: If I knew what I was doing or what my art is about I would probably stop doing it!
 
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