Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What is it without honesty?

An artist has been defined as a neurotic who continually cures himself with his art.  ~ Lee Simonson 

It has to be honest. It doesn’t matter what it is, what label it fits under. As long as you can connect to the humanity in it.

Isn’t it part of the point of this life thing? To connect to someone, or something. To feel like someone out there understands you. Understands that we’re all a bit broken. That as different as we claim we are, we’re all the same. That we love and lose, survive when we’re sure that we can’t.

So how do you make something honest if you don’t put your heart and soul into it? Don’t rip yourself apart and put everything out there. How can I expect you to connect to some paint thrown around if I don’t put a part of me in it? Whether it’s a cutesy little picture with a few select words or something that has destroyed me, it won’t connect if it’s empty.

Isn’t this what an artist is meant to do? Put images, sound, words, movement, to emotions. To try to put those same things to how we see the world. To do it in a way that makes you find something in it, because when it comes down to it, as much as I do this for me I hope that when you see it you find something in it, something that you can relate to.

This is everything for me. How I survive. This is how I connect to myself. And to you, because anyone who really knows me knows how much I fail at connecting with people in the flesh. And it’s hard. And it’s scary. But it’s nowhere near as hard and scary as it is to try and be someone else. Nowhere near as hard as it is to try and function in this world without repeatedly breaking myself apart on canvas.

But is spewing the crap that’s inside my head and heart even art? Or is it just a way to avoid spending thousands on a therapist. I’ve been down the psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist route, had more of them than I can count on one hand and none of them ever helped me as much as picking up a pencil has. So is this art or art therapy?

But if there is a part of me in each piece, actually me and not just what I think you want to see, it's honest. And if it's honest there is a chance that you might connect. That you might find something in it that helps you. But even if it's honest and you connect is it art? Or is that what makes it art?