What Bothers Me…

What annoys me most about the visual arts is not the nature of the disciplines but the nature of the people who practice them. I have met only a handful of artists who give a modest impression about themselves and their work. It seems to me that the majority within the field hold themselves in the highest regards and considers their work as superior above all. As an engineer, I rarely dabble in the realm of visual arts and I pay the price as my interactions with most artists is mainly a way for them to feed their ego from my lack of understanding. Often, it is the smirk and pride they get when they use a complex concept (usually in the form of an ism) so trivially.

I find that a lot of artists think that their work is very unique, radical and can significantly change the shape of the world. I think they fail to realize that the group of artists that actually study their work is small compared to the actual size of the earth. Again, as an engineer, I know of a huge population that gives their work little attention. The majority of the world looks for something more visually pleasing on the surface rather than a profound interpretation from the symbols within a piece. This concept of popular or mainstream art (that is, pieces for the mass audience) is sometimes discredited within the visual arts discipline because it is driven by monetary gains. Although valid, I think the takeaway is that the popular art does serve the general public in a beneficial way despite its motives.

The few artists that I have met who seem as simple folk are usually at the start of their career. I pray that their personality remains intact but I fear that someday their charisma will drop to the level of bigger artists as their ego inflates. It is a bit scary for me to think about them (as some are my close friends) in the future being self-absorbed like their artistic peers.

My views are merely a misalignment in personalities and I know there are many who appreciate the personality of an artist. But I know that I am not the only who shares this view and feel that there are many more who despise the character of an artist. While I understand that their ego might be great for creating new work and could be a great source of inspiration, I think a bit of perspective would go far in building the reputation of the arts discipline outside of the community.

Adhiraj Goel

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