“Sex is like art. Most of it is pretty bad, and the good stuff is out of your price range.”
~ Scott Roeben ~
It would appear that most of us would like to think we’re pretty good in bed. Professional and amateur creatives alike tend to think that we’re pretty good at art too. Unfortunately like most of our bedroom escapades it would appear that very few of us truly shine when it counts. According to the many professional gallery owners I’ve spoken to over the past 30 years most of what they see is just plain horrible I’m told. It’s not just a case of different strokes for different folks either. It’s just case after case of bad art.
Yet ours is a different world now. Could the experts be wrong? After all there are trophies for the losing team, awards for trying and participation medals. As a society we are willing to purchase inferior products at lower prices and when they break we are willing to go out and buy another one. We don’t have high standards nor do we expect very much. It’s a good thing right?
Everything we are told is art. All sex is good sex.
Everyone is an artist. Picasso after all said that every child is born an artist, right?
I’ve always disliked using the word “art” to describe what I do. I dislike the word artist even more. Neither words adequately describe what I do and how I feel about myself. I would simply prefer to say that I make pictures to hang on peoples walls and leave it there.
I am a blue-collar worker and I’ve apprenticed with some of the best I could find over the years. I get up every morning and spend my day putting pigments on surfaces in my workshop. Every day I hone my skills and I get better at my craft. Sometimes my pictures work out really well and at other times I struggle to get them right. Nothing leaves my shop that I’m not proud of.
The prices for my pictures are determined by my faithful clients and fans. What many fail to understand is that the art market I’m in now after 35 years of hard work isn’t the flea market. My clients and representatives expect value for their purchase and a return on their investment. My skills, stamina and long-term commitment to my work count for these people. The great Max Stern said it best when he said “It takes a long time and great expense to build up the name of an artist and if one of his paintings suddenly appears at a low price, at an exhibition especially, then the build-up may be endangered.”
This makes it hard for a full time blue collar guy like me in these times of deep discounts and changing attitudes about art. There just aren’t all that many people willing to fight for their “artist”. There aren’t all that many art students who will fight for their art teacher either. Everyone is an art teacher. Every child is born an art teacher too.
Like with sex very few seem to know what they’re missing or simply content to announce that they got some and it was cheap.
If sex is indeed like art it would appear that very few enthusiasts of either are looking for build-up, skill or stamina. Long-term is a thing of the past. Cheap, quick and disposable seems to be what the vast majority of people are looking for.
It’s simply not what I’m about.
I like the build-up, skill and stamina.