Monday, November 14, 2011
Fine Artist In Search of Advice
(Paul Cadmus | The Bath | 1951)
I’m an up-and-coming fine artist. I paint and draw the nude. There is nothing more un attractive than the lifestyle of an artist who is not also financially successful. The art world seems a bit daunting and hard to understand at first glance. Would you have any advice for me for success in this mileu?
Dear Picasso Jr.,
Here’s what I think. The art world has become a huge market catering to the new super-wealthy wanting to show of their wealth and pay millions for half a cow in a tank of formaldehyde. This isn’t going to last like a Da Vinci or Michelangelo work from the Renaissance. It’s interesting, all the very high paid painters of the 19th century are now forgotten and Van Gogh is famous, who only sold one painting in his lifetime and that was to his brother.
I think art is to make you feel something, not to be thought about. Contemporary art is very disposable. You think about it. You talk about it. You forget it. You are in the tradition of artists who want you to feel. The last school of this kind of artist were the Magic Realists, who in the 1930’s and 1940’s included Paul Cadmus, Jared French, George Tooker, Bernard Perlin and some others. Only Bernard Perlin is still alive. George Tooker just died and was never lost to sight. He always had buyers and sold for good prices. You are a part of a reawakening to this kind of art which is going on right now. If you do the nude it has to have some personal view as to why the nude is beautiful and meaningful. Your own personal magic has to be brought to it. Think about this. When you have maybe 15 or 20 paintings you like then I would go online and find galleries outside of New York, like Minnealpolis, Atlanta, Dallas.
I think your timing is perfect. Representational art is on its way back. Now you must find your own thing so it is representational art for the 21st century. Good luck and keep in touch.