Keith Haring had a different take on what art is, "The
best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint....I'd
like to pretend that I've never seen anything, never read anything,
never heard anything...and then make something....Every time I
make something I think about the people who are going to see it
and every time I see something, I think about the person who made
it....Nothing is important...so everything is important."
With so many differing opinions it is hard to focus on exactly
what is what is not art. Many will tell you their opinions such
as "I don't know what good art is, but I know if I like it
or not" and this seems to be the sentiment with many.
Gaugin at one time said, "Painting is the most beautiful
of all arts. In it, all sensations are condensed; contemplating
it, everyone can create a story at the will of his imagination
and.. with a single glance...have his soul invaded by the most
profound recollections; no effort of memory, everything is summed
up in one instant. A complete art which sums up all the others
and completes them." Gaugin was as eloquent with speech as
he was with a paint brush and painter's hat.
Van Gogh once said of brother, Vincent, "He (Vincent) has
painted a few portraits which have turned out well, but he always
does them for no payment. It is a pity that he does not want to
earn something, for if he did want to he could make something
here, but you can't change a person."
So many artists have not had any acclaim to fame
or fortune during their own lifetimes. It is only after they are
gone that the general public tends to take notice and appreciate
the master artist. And even for those few who have claimed some
form of notoriety, it is not all a bed of roses.
As David Hockney has said, "I know some
people think one leads a glamorous life, but I must admit I've
never felt that myself. Even when you've sat here in Hollywood
with a swimming pool out there, I still feel my life is just as
a working artist, actually."
And so goes the life of a working artist. Some get
to live the dream and some are not impressed by it when they get
it. Yet, a lucky few get to live the dream and are impressed by
it at the same time. Which kind of artist do you want to be? Impressed
or unimpressed? Or even depressed?
And, the bigger question is are you in it for the
art or are you in it for the lifestyle? Many artists and writer
dream of the lifestyle without a true passion and commitment to
the art. If it's only the lifestyle you want there are perhaps
better ways to achieve this than being a working artist. If however,
you would wrather do art than anything else, then you've found
your bliss and that is a reward in and of itself.