The Gospel According to The Black Eyed Preacher II: Who’s Driving Who?

“Painting is stronger than me, it makes me do its bidding.” – Picasso

Some call it drive. Others call it will. A steaming fuckload would call it stubbornness.

I’m talking about the innate desire to create, Willis.

Explaining the why? *cough*

There is an inherent loneliness within an artist that is often misconstrued as petulant sulkiness. Intelligence and common sense do not necessarily walk hand-in-hand.
On my dog days I’m a fucking pain in arse, undoubtedly. But when I’m good, I’m very fucking good.

Why. So. Sad?

The process.
Is it a short escape from the dull, dull, dull realities of Real Life©? Let’s have it right, everyday existence is utterly, utterly wank. You can insulate yourself from reality and solider on, maybe even pretend that it’s great.
Pretence is a concept that the artist struggles to with.
Art as escapism is arguably a form of pretence, and it may not always produce something tangible for the effort.
Is it not better to put yourself through the process anyway, in the slight hope that you may find some answers? If anything you inevitably only create more questions. And so it revolves ad infinitum – perhaps now you begin to understand what causes the dog days?

Would it be better to call on the comforting blanket of ignorance? Poppycock. Artists know all too well that you cannot just flick that switch off when it’s an innate call.

And then Art meets Commerce. The wheels go a tad rickety. Advertisers suggest maybe it’s ‘too controversial’. A painting may go unappreciated because that ‘form is out, Jack’, a masterpiece album may languish as it gets sat on by the record execs as they ponder whether the demand curve is in a ‘mutually satisfiable arc’, or some shit.

Validation? External validation of a ‘finished’ (if there is ever such a thing as finished article) piece of art is massive expanse of grey. The truest of artists perhaps wouldn’t even consider external factors such as appreciation, critique, or monetisation as forms of validation.
If you can look past all this you still have the art, you have still undergone the process. Isn’t that of paramount importance?

Numbers though. Oh the numbers. It is difficult in an age driven by commerce and consumerism to ignore them. If  it’s released into the bearpit of the marketplace the process and its ideals are lost temporarily (maybe even terminally) beneath profit and loss graphs, units sold, attrition (just call it LOSS eh you cunts?), societal tastes – once it gets rinsed and spat out by the machine there’s a temporal haze where the bottom line is king.
Bottom Line = Total Units Sold – (Your Art / Product Creation + Costs) or something. Lord knows I’m no economist.

There for all to see is the perceived value of the art, seen through the eyes of consumerism.

More often than not it is laughable. Small wonder then, that when some artist gets lucky and generates a windfall, their minds get bent and fried.
Consider the mental strength needed to create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create and create etc and be spiritually rich but domestically poor.

Consider that some of the work they created beforehand may well be in the pantheon of genius, but was ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and ignored and so on.

Then one day the stars align and the mass define it as culturally acceptable and the artist is suddenly revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered revered (I won’t do this again)

Is the artist better now? Are they validated in more acceptable terms? If all the reverence and cash was stripped away from them, if the graphs plummeted, would that then invalidate them and lower the worth of their art?

Or is the value of the art the same as it ever was, just everything else shifted around it?

Everybody born is a living miracle. Perhaps artists are more acutely aware of this. Coupled with a heightened sense of their own mortality, it’s a potent brew.

It’s an oddity with humans that we have such a capacity to consider these lofty ambitions and ideals.

We’re all gonna be worm food one day, there’s no escaping that.
I am enamoured with the ideal that the essence of a person, their ideas, philosophy, and artifacts can exist for fucking eternity. Someone can live on beyond their mortal meatbag shell.

And who doesn’t want a piece of that action?

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~ by tbkband on March 3, 2011.

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