Scott Shaw.com Be Positive

Artistic Intent

I was kicking around this art complex in Bangkok about a week ago. I walked into one of the galleries and there was this girl, who I realized was the artist, standing in the center of the room having a man creating a video of her moving in association with her art works. Nothing vastly new in that. But, it did set me to thinking about the intent of the artist.
 
Once upon a time, in the long ago and the far-far away, back in the ‘80s, when this building was constructed, and well into the ‘90s, this structure used to be home to a number of boutique style shops. It was always a very nice, well-maintained space. Somewhere along the way they decided to turn it into a gallery space. They also moved several of the high-end Thai antique shops that used to be over on Rama IV Road inside the structure. With the massive revamping of Bangkok, over the past twenty years, bringing in a lot of truly specular skyscrapers, much of the old vibe of Bangkok is long gone. Anyway…
 
Here was this girl, inside this gallery, posing for the camera, and having her paintings exhibited.
 
I believe this space was a pay to play scenario. I’m sure the gallery owners pick and choose who they allow to pay to play but the way most the galleries in this space are set up as single artist shows, it just lends itself to the obvious of the obvious.
 
Certainly, there is nothing wrong in paying to play. This kind of stuff goes on all over the place all the time. An artist, by how ever you define that term, wants the world to find out about them, so they do what they must do to get their vision out there.
 
This is where I believe the essence of art comes into play. An artist creates. End of story. They inhabit a creative vision, and they create it. That’s what makes them an artist. In that and of that there is a truth, a purity, and an all-encompassing wholeness. They create. This is something that much of the world does not do.
 
Now, this is not to say the artist is somehow superior. It is simply stating that they do what others do not.
 
Enter the critic. The other component in this equation. Like I stated just yesterday in this blog, and I have been saying for years, “If you do not have your own unique creative vision, you criticize the unique vision that others possess.”  Meaning, there is a whole plethora of people out there throwing shade on the creative works of others, yet they are not the ones on the front lines actually creating something new, unique, and artistic. Like the old saying goes, “Everyone is a critic.” In fact, think how many people are out there on the internet actually making a living by systematically critiquing the creative works of other people. On even a more diabolical level, think about all the people who just insult the creative works of the artist simply because they can: anywhere/anyplace.
 
Now, as an artist, I, of course, do not appreciate this. I see the lack of vision or understanding in these people who spend their time living in a state of negativity and hate, when they could be living in a space of creativity. It’s all a choice, you know.  Who gives them the right to do this? Answer: You do. If you support negativity on any level, you are part of the problem, not part of the cure. Think about it…
 
As I watched this girl, doing what she was doing, and as I studied her art, I realized I was not a super fan of what she had created but that did not make me descend to a lower level and unleash criticism. What she was doing was actualizing her vision of art as she saw it. She was creating. She was a creative. That in and of itself should be celebrated, never diminished.
 
I think this is an important thing to think about as you pass through life. What do you like and why do you like it? What do you do with your likes and your dislikes? Do you allow your likes and your dislikes to spur your conversation? Do you allow your likes and your dislikes to cause you to unleash your opinion possibly hurting the life of the artist who is actually out there creating something—attempting to make the world a more artist environment?
 
Mostly, what art are you creating? If you’re not creating art, but you are creating criticism, how do you believe that makes anything in this world any better?
 
Be more than your opinion, because what does you opinion actually add to the betterment of the world? Create, and from your creation, a whole new world of artistic joy may be given birth to.