A dreaded word indeed. Fluff. What gives an artist substance? Is it exquisite training? Or perhaps passion, aesthetic taste, a strange demeanor? Does he have to scream louder than the rest? Or dodge publicity, be an elusive character?
There are plenty of people on this planet. Enough to enable the artist find his own niche. This is the good news.
There are people applauding at the sight of puppy-dog picture bags sold for €1 at the side of the road, on a checkered blanket. The kitty-ones are generating even more appreciation. The old ladies are going ga-ga.
The starving artist takes pride in not giving into the commercially driven, blood sucking, f*cking sell-out of a world we live in and thrives on compassion…or pity. His life is long, his friend list even longer. He may be very talented but lacks…something.
On the pedestal sits the smart artist. The one who hasn’t forgotten his brain has two sides. He digs into his right pocket and pulls out a picture of Marilyn Monroe. JFK comes shortly after and the list is long enough to feed a lazy imagination for years to come. If he is smart enough he knows compromise and is happy to do it. Success may follow. Passion follows success.
Today, the multi-tasking, technologically-savvy artist has the largest audience. 15 minutes of fame. Involvement in world issues, speaker attached. He is young, ruthless and completely judgmental as a youngling should be. Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll reinvented. He is interesting.
The fortunate, old school artist sits in the shadows, musing to himself and thinking about the eternality of the soul. Or so he hopes. Established in more ways than one he stands like an old tree in the middle of a young forest. Plus, he’s done a couple of nudes in his time.
So if kitsch sells, talent is lonely, skimming is smart, curiosity is just that, and value is old, what kind of artist do you want to be?