Art – a matter of ego?

Postponed yesterday – no, but “saved especially for today”

It’s been snowing here for hours and it’s a wonderfully cosy Sunday right now.

Normally I write my morning pages, and thus my blogs, first thing in the morning. Today, on Sunday, the pace is a little different.

No, not because it is different on principle at the weekend. A “it’s the weekend, so no getting up early, doing nothing and lazing around” is not a must. Well, it arises in phases. Like this morning. But not as a matter of principle. So now it’s already midday and it’s snowing. Cosy. A good moment for a few postponed thoughts.

Again and again I think about why I actually make art. And why I exhibit and sell the pictures that come out of it in a gallery afterwards. When I was thinking about a new blog, about the new start here, analogous thoughts came to me: why reveal my thoughts, my emotions, my inner world and put them on display? To gain visitors and likes? So just to satisfy some base need of my ego? To be liked? To belong? To become famous (and maybe even rich)?

I used to brush these thoughts right off the table. I told myself that I was showing my pictures to others because I felt an inner need to do so. Now I dismiss such statements as empty art talk. I still buy “I make art because it is my inner need”. But “making art” does not mean “showing art to others” or even “imposing art on others” (by ‘supplying’ all forums and social media with it). And “making art” does not mean “selling art”. And that is exactly what many artists mean when they talk about “making art”, namely “showing art to others” and “selling art”.

And I wonder whether the artist who says she “makes art because it is an inner need” really means that she “shows and sells art because it is an inner need”.

What does it mean when someone shows his art to others out of an inner need (also to sell it)? Isn’t this possibly just a pure ego thing? To show art in order to belong? To get likes (even if it is in the form of money)? To have an influence on other people, to influence them and their thoughts and feelings through art? And then to be aware of this? True to the motto “MY art pleases others, it influences and changes them and their thoughts and feelings!

In my opinion, this is purely an ego thing.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

I only find it a pity when someone presents this egocentricity in a heroic way by hiding it behind an “inner urge of the artist”.

This is what I keep thinking about when it comes to my own paintings: why do I not only make the paintings, but why do they hang in a gallery, why do I post more and more on social media and why do I start blogging again?

Is it perhaps also just a matter of something like egocentricity for me? There was always a bit of a fear. I know, or rather I am firmly convinced, that I have to overcome this ego if I want to become who I am.

With all these many thoughts and above all all these many self-doubts, I always came back to one thing: Joseph Beuys was probably not really understood by anyone. And his self-conception of an artist as a shaman who shows the world its traumas and shows the world, the people, society the things that otherwise remain hidden from it is certainly not easy to grasp.

Nevertheless, this self-image of a shaman who mediates between the worlds, between this world and the hereafter, is what kept coming back to me in my reflections. No, I actually show my art less because my ego demands it of me. But rather because it is a part of my identity. A part comparable to that of the shaman from Joseph Beuys’ self-image.

To show the world its traumas. To show us as a society our conflicts and to enable healing through this modified “know thyself”. THAT is my reason to show and sell my art and to write this blog. And yes: ‘Us’ as a society, because I as an artist am always part of this society. Just as the shaman is part of the world, to which he shows its traumas and to which he communicates the beyond. The shaman always heals himself a little bit when he heals the world. Just as every artist always heals himself to some extent, if healing is part of his self-image as an artist – or shaman.

Certainly not the only blog in which I will -repeatedly- deal with this part of my thoughts and emotions, with this part of my identity.

And probably one of many blogs that will not be readily comprehensible to everyone

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Epson Semi Gloss

A great all-round paper, chosen for its photographic aesthetics, vibrant colour reproduction, high contrast and robust feel. Its semi gloss, flat surface lends the artwork a photographic feel, combined with the subtle painterly feel of a Giclée fine art print. Our most lightweight paper of all Giclées. The surface is resin coated making it our strongest paper.

Hahnemühle German Etching

This heavyweight paper has a slightly warm base tone and a strong mottled texture. It creates a print with strong colours and deep blacks that feel rich and high in contrast. This is due to the texture of the paper enabling it to hold more ink and capture the light. The German Etching is one of our heavier weight Giclée art printing papers. With its weight and strong texture this paper gives an artwork a handmade crafted feel. Hahnemüle German Etching is a robust Giclée paper, meaning it doesn’t tend to fray as much at the edges.

Hahnemühle Photorag

The super matt finish of Hahnemüle Photorag makes this paper one of our most popular papers amongst artists, illustrators & photographers alike. The paper gives muted blacks with even colour reproduction, and excellent detail. The surface has minimal texture with a chalky smooth cotton feel which creates smooth colour gradients. It has a delicate surface, so we recommend extra care when handling. Photorag is suitable for mounting but its cotton texture means edges can fray if not carefully handled.

Hahnemühle Pearl

Hahnemüle Pearl has a smooth orange peel texture and a bright neutral white base, it creates really natural black and white images and offers vibrant colour reproduction and great detail too. The paper is resin coated with a fibrous feel. The satin finish of the resin coating gives depth to the image which combined with the texture and vibrant colour reproduction give the image the feel of an oil painting. This is one of the most suitable of the Giclée Art Paper range for mounting

Hahnemühle Bamboo

Bamboo is the world’s first digital fine art inkjet paper made from bamboo fibres. Bamboo represents naturalness and resource-saving paper production. Particularly suitable for warm-toned colour and monochrome prints.Hahnemühle Bamboo is made from 90% Bamboo fibres and 10% cotton combining photography with environmental friendliness. This natural warm-toned, smooth surfaced and optical brightening agent free genuine art paper offers maximum ageing resistance. It guarantees an extremely large colour gamut and high colour density.

Canson Baryta

A pure white Baryta base paper with excellent black density, contrast and reproduction of detail. Great for high contrast images, as well as fluorescent and vivid colours. The Baryta base creates whiter whites and deeper blacks whilst the silky smooth reflective coating enhances the detail and definition of the images. We recommend care when handling the print as is a sensitive paper and we advise that you add a border to the image if you would like to have it mounted.

Canson Aquarelle

Canson Aquarelle Rag is another highly textured Giclée art paper in our range, offering strong reproduction of blacks and good colour intensity with a texture that holds the ink and catches the light. This Giclée paper has a white uncoated paper base, which together with the texture gives the artwork a lovely fine art reproduction feel. The texture is even more pronounced than Hahnemühle German Etching so if you are really looking for the craft feel, this is a great option. Like the German Etching, the Canson Aquarelle Rag is a robust paper that handles mounting well.

C Type Kodak Metallic

Kodak Metallic has a rich metallic base. The colours have a reflective, metallic and 3-dimensional feel. High mid-tones & highlights add luminosity & iridescence.

C Type Fuji Flex

Fuji Flex, a.k.a. super-gloss, has a plastic feel to the paper with a warm base colour and an ultra-high gloss finish, giving luxurious rich colours. Very high – deep blacks & high visual contrast.

C Type Fuji Gloss

Professional colour paper from the Fuji Crystal archive range with a gloss finish, which accentuates the colour to give a punchy, rich feel. Gives our image more contrast, glossiness and a punchier colour feel when compared to Fuji Matt, although it maintains tonal properties and accurate reproduction.

C Type Fuji Matt

Fuji Crystal archive paper with a semi-matt finish. The paper is coated with a slightly stippled texture giving a very natural photographic finish with subtle colour. Great versatile paper, very natural and works well with all photographic images. Maintains colours in a very natural way, giving a detailed, 3-dimensional beautiful photographic reproduction.

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We, Gratus Art OUe (Registered business address: Estonia), process personal data for the operation of this website only to the extent technically necessary. All details in our privacy policy.