Blog: Wondering

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 02 2021

Blog: Wondering

Featured image: Which Way


Wondering – is art just for the rich folks who have trust funds and higher up connections? Is it for rich folks who already have tons of disposable money? Rich folks who can make an art studio out of their pool house? Rich folks after they finish their four years of college education and still are unsure of what they got out of their education and have no direction, so they make art? Rich folks who don’t need to be paid for their work?

Is it still possible for folks who aren’t rich, to make it in the art world? Is it still possible for the non-rich folks to fulfill their dreams in making it in the art world? These folks don’t become instant artists accepted by the news media. Rather, they work as interns, gallery assistants and aides to others in the art industry because that's what they think is needed to get their foot in the door. On rare occasions they rise up, but this is rare. I think of Basquiat. After Andy Warhol lost interest in him, his popularity fell.

I am one of those folks who aren’t rich, who has worked for her hopes and dreams all of her life, but realizes that reaching the notoriety of the current media artist darling, Hunter Biden, will never happen to her. And her studio is not a former pool house, rather it is a former bedroom in her home that was converted into a studio.

It is hard for me to think that perhaps what I have written above is the truth in the art world. Where does it leave folks like me? There are many of us. Why do we still create? Why even try? Perhaps, it is time for a new paradigm that defines the fine arts. Perhaps real art, authentic art, should not be defined by popularity, and popular news media. Perhaps authentic artists should live with the illusion that they will someday become an instant artist and instantly recognized. Instead art should be recognized as something that is authentic, and not something that is like a McDonalds Happy Meal that provides instant gratification.

The paradigm change should focus on how art is defined and by whom. The paradigm change should come from those who create and make “real” art and “authentic” art, not the kind of art and instant gratification of Hunter Biden and others like him. The paradigm change should also come from the art object itself. Is it authentic? Is it real? The new paradigm for the creators and the dreamers within our culture, is to be yourself and celebrate it, to think for themselves, and not to think that they aren’t going to make it as an artist, that their art isn’t good enough and that what they do is a failure.

I go through all of those emotions and I am sure there are other authentic artists out there that have experienced the same. I have never painted figures before. Therefore, with the emergence of my new series, Rugged Individualism, every piece, my self-talk sounds like this, "This is terrible. This doesn’t work. This is a failure." In every work for this series, I am fearful, and I procrastinate thinking, "What if that doesn’t’ work?" Since almost all the works have sold, it is just a fear of failure that causes me to ponder if it will fail and causes me to be afraid to finish them.

The only way I overcome this fear and get over the rich folks paradigm is just keep working, creating, and knowing something will happen. Even when I feel like giving up my dream and hopes for my life, I just keep working and creating, I don’t stop. I will enjoy this life and the wonderful gifts I have, while this smaller paradigm is not the big paradigm we teach others about art .

Well…… so I just keep moving along – hoping dreaming, exploring, creating, and being my authentic self.

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