STATUE OF LIMITATIONS
The artist sculpts no more public works ennobling the others; he carves no more edifices at their behest for their enrichment. He was an appropriator, but never a forger; he worked in any style, in all media, doing anything for a buck. He was a professional and that’s what they do.
But professionals often develop their own style. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, because success in art being more a lottery than a contest, luck of the draw (LOL) counts more than talent. He didn’t luck out in this, but he’s not saying he deserves success any more than any other artist but that he thinks talent should count more than it does.
So what is talent? Art is and always has been many things to as many people. One person’s passion can be another’s profit. It’s near nothing in the market place and near everything in a eulogy. When it’s the former it’s just a piece in a game, some times a winner but usually not. So while he was liking his work more, those others he depended on for subsistence were liking it less; or more accurately they found it less and less profitable and soon enough he wasn’t worth any compensation at all.
An artist is, in Freud’s terminology, a “neurotic,” he’s “…originally a man who turns away from reality because he cannot come to terms with the renunciation of instinctual satisfaction which it at first demands, and who allows his erotic and ambitious wishes full play in the life of phantasy. (Sigmund Freud from his ‘Formulations Regarding the Two Principles in Mental Functioning’ c.1925)
Anyway, this neurotic is now too old to take up hammer and chisels, even if the others’d pay him. He only paints now, and for only himself. Cheaper and faster done painting is, and better suited for his cheaper and faster fading ideas. His current project is a visualization of an apocryphal remark from Michelangelo, or perhaps Rodin or Brancusi. The paraphrase to be drawn and posted is that while the artist chips away all that is not art, the others—working faster, and three against one—chip away all that is the artist.
And the artist/neurotic likes to think he doesn’t care what the others, think about him, he’s not sure he does. He still fantasizes his art in a classy frame on a classy white wall in a classy upscale gallery opening (classy cheese cubes and box wine classily served) impresses classy people pausing in front of it, and at least one of whom—the classiest of the group, for sure—is considering buying it for her classy upscale condo.“…Thus in a certain fashion he actually becomes the hero, the king, the creator, or the favourite he desired to be, without following the long roundabout path of making real alterations in the external world.” (Ibid.)