Monday, May 10, 2010
On the Day, the Artist Went Away...
All Together Now (closeup)
Haiti Lady (framed)
A few years back, I had written a poem entitled "On the Day" that spoke to what the world would be like if all the artist in all the disciplines went away musing on how dreary the world would be as if the very life, color & vibrations had been annihlated. How little did I know that I, this artist, would reach a juncture in my own career to have an ephiphany and decide it was time to go away...
I do not mean it literally but in essence to stop exhibiting. After almost 20 years as a visual artist and much more then that in another artistic discipline that something clicked in my heart this morning and said," enough".
It was in a way deja vu reminiscing of another time 17 years ago when a similar "clicked" & I decided to close down my gallery in San Diego, when I knew in my heart of hearts it was time to yield.
Mind you I have a mad amount of work with commissions I have to complete which I pray & trust I will complete, fufilling my obligations to those who have enjoyed my work. My plan is to continue this year completing that trust, but plan to no longer exhibit.
And all because one time too many,as many artists if they have created more then a day can understand, someone(s) or maybe a culmulative amount of someones or one too many someones who seem to not have it in them to truly regard art or artists as a profession or a professional.
One too many people while enjoying the end results, seem to not value the labor, the time, the heart-renching (at times)energy & sacrifice it takes to do what they do. I like many others are not independently wealthy, or can reach the mega dollars of the fortunate few but love what we do, have pride in what we do and make like other professions great sacrifices for a "if and a maybe".
Far too many people seem to think it is totally appropiate to take advantage of artists, sometimes bragging about getting a work for pennies at their next dinner or cocktail party somehow or another not grasping at the other end of that stick is a living breathing person who like so many have all those mundane obligations to care for. And last I check there is not nary an artist based on their winning smile have been able to purchase supplies, pay rent/mortage, keep the utilities on, store needed fuel in one's body, enjoy a pack or bubble gum or a moment at the movies based on the "suffering artist" syndrom that a lot of folks think we like to do which to me that syndrom is very masochistic.
It is difficult to create or maintain if one does not know if one will have a roof over ones head, or the power shut off or if the stomach is growling. Contrary to a almost over romanticized view in the movies that the artist suffers, dies from TB from living in damp broken down attic, becomes famous after death. It did not work in the movies either...
Yes without a doubt we love what we do, am very passionate about what & how we do it and yes can sometimes be in a enviable position of working at something we love & enjoy & willing to make needed sacrifices to make the world a lovely place to walk through even in the most ugly & troubling times.
I've been far more fortunate then many over these 2 decades to not have been burned as much or as badly but sometime there is a moment, a pivotal moment when you have to say no more.
In workshops I've have done over the years I have somewhat tongue in cheek humorously have referred to my "Mooneyisms". And Mooney-ism # 5 has always been "Be prepare to walk away". I cannot teach that if I do not practice it.
Sometimes you have to draw a line and say "you will not do this"(to me).
So on this day, when this artist walks away will the world stop? Of course not! I don't think that much of myself that I could be arrogant enough to think it would or should.
And yes I will have to find another means to substain myself eking out some time to create for my own pleasure without worrying about if when or how someone else will keep their word, honor the contract or show the respect that is due.
I simply know on this day, as I rapidly approach my 6th decade on this earth that I know to do the right thing honoring my ownself even those there are others who would with or without malice want to dishonor.
Those who may read my words, please do not think if you are expecting delivery will not get it. My plan is to continue working through 2010 to fufill my obligations.
After that, time will tell