Recently, I found myself surrounded by friends next to my empty studio, and they wanted to know why I won't show them anything. I explained, but later that night I realized that I was not fully truthful.
Why? During my twenties and most of the thirties, I have slowly developed a manner of providing smaller truths instead of the main truth, to protect myself. You see, I was purposefully and consistently telling the truth, almost always, and begun to understand how dangerous it could be. So I started hiding the main elements of my motivation from myself. When I understood what I did, I decided to rather be just truthful with myself than always be so terrifyingly honest with others.
Back to the situation with my friends and my paintings.
I told them that I didn't like sharing unfinished work because it messes up my thought process. This was understandable, but they wanted the finished stuff. I gave them multiple truths, a few from these:
- Many of my recent water media paintings are under the weight and need flattening. Many of my drawings I leave unvarnished - out of laziness and impatience to start working on the next thing - and the surfaces are vulnerable to damage. The rest is packed away without frames or any other individual support, ready to be carried away. It would take a while to convert any of them into anything presentable.
- I don't want anyone who visits me to feel obliged to comment on my works.
- Under such circumstances people tend to say nice things to the host, and that would be definitely not what I want.
- People who liked my paintings in the past might feel they need to express something positive again.
- For some people art is boring, but they would need to join in with others.
- A few acquaintances gave me somewhat irrelevant pieces of business or technique advice, and it was challenging to channel the conversation into something better.
- I do not expect any of my friends to be neither my target audience not art collectors, so it rarely crosses my mind to prepare something to show. Fine art is becoming more and more a luxury product again, and the prices are a bit much even for middle-class income. I try to avoid any situation where any of my friends might feel in any way excluded.
Well, well. The bigger truth is that I really want and expect understanding of some of my art. I was very lucky to meet people who got me, and that was an amazing feeling that I do want to have again. However, it saddens me if it does not happen for one reason or another. So I am selfishly trying to avoid the change to a serious contemplation from the lightness of being generated by just having fun together.
PS: As a result of such considerations, I came up with Art Game rules, so at least we can exchange jokes and learn something about each other while looking at art.