The Silence and Sun in this House
Making a living. Making art. I keep these separate in a mind of nondualistic thought. These two are not the same nor should they be. Selling work to those who love it….those making the personal investment. They are rare.
We kid ourselves in this over inflated market. There is a place for all of us who wish to “make a buck” from our work. At the same time it is a myth that an artist lives off of their work.
You will not acquire a sustainable income from the objects you make or the experiences you create in a gallery or alternative venue. Your object/experiences will augment, at best, an income that hopefully comes from working in the arts – there are numerous options, actually. Being a cultural worker is the way one makes a living from making art.
You have to live with yourself and the tremendous history and lineages of making before you. Ultimately, filling a space with work that you think, hope, work toward an audience with, is counter to the process.
We live in a culture that has put a price tag on everything.
This being the case forces the artist, if they are worth their salt, to recognize the difference between pandering to an audience and truly furthering their investigation. That is what art making is – an investigation and commentary. Beyond that, any other consideration makes art (art, literature, theater, music, movement) a lie.
It is time for artists to come clean, to stop the pretense (not to be confused with pretending) and the lie they tell themselves as well as others ( found in conversation to appease the buyer). Now, more than ever, be genuine – make the work. Stop replaying the art star character that you are not, while you sit in your studio.
Instead, be the slave to beauty and/or protest; refined thinking or systems, or perhaps better yet, create seismic shifts in the consciousness of the world. That is your job.