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