I normally don’t replay past entries from the blog on Sundays but I thought this week I’d make an exception. I very much like this entry, written a few years back after the opening of one of my shows, and share it with a small alteration to the original post by changing the music from the original Hold On from the Alabama Shakes to their song You Ain’t Alone. Both songs are great and fit with the painting above, at least in my mind.
Sunday morning and I think I’m much more decompressed than yesterday morning after the show. All back to normal, whatever that is. This show has made me think on a wide variety of subjects, about purpose and meaning beyond what I see in the work as well the potential for legacy in these paintings– would they endure into the future?
A good friend stopped in the studio yesterday and we talked for a moment about the subject of legacy. I pointed out that legacy is a big if for any artist and that I can only do what I do — where it ends up in the future is something that is far beyond my own control. It could be in enduring collections or it could be in garage sales and dumpsters– you never know what the vagaries and tastes of the future hold. I witness this all of the time when I go through the records from the auction houses and see painters who were celebrated in their time who are now basically unknown. Their work sells for a pittance, far below what one might expect from reading about their fame when alive.
As an artist, you can only hope that your work has a transcendent quality that allows it to live out of the time of its creator and be of the time in which it is viewed. I don’t know how you do that outside of maintaining consistency in your own vision and hoping that it is one that somehow speaks to those in the future. But there is always the question that if your work does move ahead, does maintain life and attracts future collectors, what would your legacy work be?
I know that this a fool’s game– no one has the ability to predict that future for their own work. You can’t be objective when you are so close to it, can’t discern your own personal feelings for it from how it reads to the outer world. But there are pieces that I see that nag at me, that have a weight that tells me that they may be vital pieces in a potential legacy. Pieces that I could see easily living in the future. There are a number in the current show, including the piece above, Observers.
These pieces have an intangible quality that I wish I could more fully understand so that I could better describe it. Or capture in a way so that it would be in all of my work. There is just something that seems beyond me, something that is beyond this time.
Could I be wrong? Of course. I have been wrong many times in the past and will no doubt be wrong in the future. But for my work I can hope that in this instance I am correct and that they hold on.
Actually, this was all just an elaborate lead in for a little Sunday morning music , some soul stirring from the Alabama Shakes and lead singer Brittany Howard. It is a song titled, of course, You Ain’t Alone.
Have a great Sunday!