It seems I am reading more these days than painting! I go through these phases sometime.... I feel hungry for words, especially something that will give me strength and hope in pursuing the artistic path! The one I am reading now is by Ian Roberts, a landscape painter. The book is called Creative Authenticity. And like the last book, Art and Fear , this one deeply resonated with me .He talks about "Authenticity" in an artwork, be it music, poetry or other visual arts.... He questions what it actually means to be an "authentic" artist ! Is someone an authentic artist just because he/she creates so called "personal art"? I have always questioned that too! If I make a piece of art that doesn't speak with anyone or doesn't resonate with anybody else, is that a meaningful art? If our art is self-indulgent and has nothing to share other than our skepticism, does it make for good art? If we look at paintings by Montagna or Rembrandt, they worked within strict confine of patron driven art. But their art is universal and speaks to us from the depth of history because the artists created something that is imbued with their joy of creation.They might not be "personal" art but no one can deny that the artist's "soul" is apparent in these paintings. So I think it is a matter of beauty that makes an artwork universal or beloved rather than if they are personal art or impersonal. An artwork needs to express the beauty of the soul of its creator. I know in the postmodern environment beauty is an ugly word, but beauty is what makes art meaningful.At least to me! I don't mean vapid beauty but a soulful one. Bach's music will outlast Lady Gaga, even though Bach was producing music within the strict limit imposed by his patron, the Church. He was not an eccentric; he had to feed 17 children for god's sake! He did not have time to be self expressive like the GAGA! But who will remember her in 50 years, let alone few hundreds? Roberts says this beautifully, "To see the difference between "personal stuff" and fashioning an authentic, deeply personal expression, we can think of one being ego driven, agitated and afraid, and the other drawing from a source that feels like revelation.It is revealed".
What do you think?