Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knowing the Artist

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting several artists whose work I admire.  We were all at a bustling gallery reception and the art looked fabulous. Everyone was having a great time.  Then, the gallerist flashed the lights, signaling the end of the party.

A few of us weren't ready to go home quite yet, so we went out for an impromptu dinner. Though some of us had only met an hour before, we were joking and sharing as if we'd been friends for much longer.  It was an absolute delight.

And, while I've loved/ pondered/mulled over these artists' artwork for a while, I think I have a new appreciation for it.  I think I understand it better now.  Has this ever happened to you?  Do you think knowing the artist, even a bit, makes a difference?

In my case, I think it does.  The women I met are intelligent and vibrant women who could, I'm sure, create lots of different kinds of art. But after spending time with them, I understand a smidgeon better why they create what they do.  Perhaps that's very simplistic.  I certainly don't want to simplify the effort put into anyone's work or demean the complexity of their art but, without sounding trite, I have to say that I can hear the whisper of their muse behind every story they shared.  I can see, just a bit more clearly, how this is THEIR art.

In this case, spending time with the artists added even more depth and meaning to every stitch and line.  At other times, I've better understood motivations and appreciated the expression in a piece more, especially if the piece wasn't one of my favorite.

Does all this make sense?

Perhaps you've all made this discovery before, but it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me.  For me, it was rather ....

...... I can see a little more closely into the art now.   Wow.  How cool is that?


Kristin L said...

That makes perfectly good sense to me. :-)

Natalya Aikens said...


Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

I love this post. I find that knowing the artists gives you multiple ways to connect with the art. I will also admit that sometimes the reverse is true. I love something and then meet the maker.....I might still enjoy the art but may not be as excited about the experience. This might sound mean spirited but when I connect with work it is a connection with the artists as well as the object.

Lisa said...

I definitely agree. Getting to know the artist can really give you a deeper appreciation for why they create what they create.

It was an excellent evening and the conversation was engaging and had a depth to it that allowed us to get to know each other on what felt like a real way.