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Archive for July 20th, 2011

The Returning

I went to the Kada Gallery yesterday to drop off some new work and to also retrieve some pieces that had been with them for a while, unsold.  It’s just part of this and almost every business, this  exchanging of new product  for older.  Of course, most artists try to dissassociate themselves from the concept of their work as a product but in the long run that is what it amounts to, in the business sense.  I know my work is a product when I deal with galleries as far as inventory andsales and such but also try to keep an equal footing with them in maintaining the artistic merits of my work.  It can be a fine line.

When I first started in this business, I viewed the return of work to me from a gallery as a failure of sorts.  My work had failed to spark the interest of any potential collector so there must be something amiss in the work was how I viewed it.  I mistakenly attached a shelf life to the work early on as a result.  But time passed and I soon realized that each locale had different tastes and preferences and that each gallery had their own way of presenting the work which affected how the different paintings were viewed.   After a time, I realized that the work was soon gone away to the homes of collectors, often after having been at one or more galleries previously.  It wasn’t a failure of the work when work was returned, it was simply not the time or place for those pieces that found their way back to me.  In almost every case, they found homes somewhere.

The sense of failure I experienced early on when work was returned also made me question the validity of my work.  I’ve often said that when you’re first showing your work, you want to sell every piece because every sale is a form of validation, a bolstering of your confidence in your own work.  So when work didn’t sell, it made me wuestion the value of the work.  But over time,  I recognized the error in thinking this way and actually began to hope that certain paintings didn’t sell, that I could somehow hold onto them a bit longer, as if holding onto a piece of myself that I had let go too soon.

So yesterday, when I picked up several paintings, including the one above,  I wasn’t disappointed.  Instead I was almost excited to see these paintings, to have them in my hands again.  Even now, as I glance over them scattered around the studio, I get a great sense of pleasure and fullness of self in having them there even though I know that eventually most will be gone.  Some I take great pride in and some have some sort of  personal bond.  But all feel like parts of me and, for the moment, it’s good to have these parts of myself back.

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