Face Making

Le blog de l’artiste peintre franco-américaine Gwenn Seemel. Les articles sont en anglais et en français, et souvent ils sont bilingues.

The best kind of artist / La meilleure sorte d’artiste

2012 . 02 . 13 - Comments / Commentaires (5)

There are three different kinds of artists but just one who accomplishes much of anything.

Il existe trois différentes sortes d’artistes mais une seule qui réussit à faire quelque chose d’intéressant.


I talk more about the academic artists in my article about how having an MFA doesn’t make you an artist and more about the importance of creating art that engages in this vlog.


Je parle de l’importance de créer de l’art qui communique bien avec le public dans cette vidéo.


RELATED ARTICLES:
- Territory versus hierarchy
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UN PEU SUR LE MÊME SUJET:
- Why I talk about art / Pourquoi je parle de l’art
- The role of the artist / Le rôle de l’artiste
- La définition de l’art


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(5) Comments / Commentaires: The best kind of artist / La meilleure sorte d’artiste

James...

These types definitely do exist, and not just in visual art but in creative writing as well. I attended a panel at a creative writing conference last year where one of the panelists said “how many in the audience are writers,” and almost everyone (in a room with a hundred people or more) raised his or her hand. Then the panelist said, “and how many of you think of yourselves as a business,” and it was exactly the opposite. Two or three people raised their hands. It seems to me that the majority of writers in MFA programs like mine are convinced it’s not possible to make money from such work, and fit your description of the academic artist to a t. It’s one of the many reasons I don’t expect to attend that particular conference once my MFA program stops paying for my admission. It’s incredible how much the world of literary fiction and poetry really has become so insular. Poets in particular have gotten to the point where other poets are their primary audience. I find it very sad.

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Gwenn...

Recently I was chatting with another artist and I was shocked by how much this person went on and on about sales.  As soon as I realized I was shocked, I had a bit of a giggle at my own expense: I’m sure my entrepreneurial focus shocks others so it was a good thing for me to experience that as well!

It’s fascinating to hear that similar things are going on in the literary arts—fascinating but not surprising.  I think the push and pull of commerce affects all industries.  I remember having similar discussions with a news anchor when I did a series of portraits of television personalities.  This particular anchor was very specific about defining himself as a journalist not as a personality, and I couldn’t help but wonder why he couldn’t be both…

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Daniel...

Am I a good artist if I work only for myself? If I do only what I like even if people don’t understand it? I don’t think so, you have to be a snob if you don’t care if they understand what you do or not. Why would you show your works in a gallery, expecting people to see it, if you don’t mind if they get it or not? Just to make fun of them? Then it is clear, the artist must reach the public, you own yourself to a public and they expect to understand you, they don’t like to suffer.

Definitely, but there’s a difference that makes all the difference: I don’t understand many of Bob Dylan’s songs. I don’t. I don’t get him. It’s frustrating; sometimes I think I get something, maybe, maybe not. Nevertheless, after I listen to his music I feel I have won something, I feel that I have grown in some way. I feel better. He didn’t give me what I was asking for, he gave me what he had, he put on me something I didn’t have before, he didn’t give me what I expected. And that, I think, is art.

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Gwenn...

So how do you know that you’re being the second kind of artist instead of the first kind?

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Daniel...

You dont. You just do your best job, do what you like and what pleases you, be honest to yourself and let others the discussion that if youre a good or bad artist.

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