Hey guys! Today I’d like to share with you a little bit about how I’m breaking the mold of being an artist in the 21st century.
Throughout history, artists have had to fit certain molds to have their work accepted by galleries and the art community.
But the greatest artists were the ones who broke the mold.
In Medieval Europe, art was controlled by the Church. Artists had to create work featuring religious characters and stories in order to sell. Artists found ways to work around these limitations by inserting the faces of their patrons into religious scenes.
The great art of the Renaissance was a rejection of these restrictions. In fact, there has been a constant back and forth throughout history, with each art movement being a reaction to the one that came before.
Impressionism was a reaction to Realism. Monet and the Impressionists were originally shunned by the art community in Paris. Of course they are now widely loved and celebrated (not to mention, the art is worth millions).
In 1917, Marcel DuChamp submitted an upside down urinal as an affront to the so-called “Society of Independent Artists”. This move has gone down in history and gave rise to Dadaism.
The greatest historical artists we know today were the ones who broke the mold and pushed back against the establishment. These artists were ahead of their time, controversial, and often under appreciated until late in life or even after death.
So how can I follow in the footsteps of the great artists of the past?
Today, there are once again pervasive ideas about what being an artist should look like.
Many of my professors at University scoffed at the idea of selling art online on fashion and home decor products. They held the belief that a true artist should suffer for their work, and should only show in established galleries, otherwise they’re “selling out”.
Another pervasive idea is that art should only be understood and accessible to an elite few. I think that idea is bullshit and needs to be smashed like the patriarchy! I hold the belief that art should be accessible to all.
The internet and the ability to self represent has completely changed the landscape of being an artist today. We can spread our work around the world all on our own, and become business men and women in our own right. We can create any kind of artwork we want and find a market for it.
All artists should be taking advantage of this and starting a new movement. Our movement doesn’t have a name yet but one day people will be reading about this time in history. Just like we read about the “Renaissance” “Impressionism” and “Dadaism” movements of the past.
This is how I’m breaking the mold as an artist and doing what every other great artist has done before me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what being an Artist in the 21st century means to you. Leave your comments below! Please note: I’m not an art historian and have definitely over-simplified some aspects here, so feel free to point out if I’m completely wrong.
Thanks for sticking around long enough to read my rant! I really appreciate it. Head over to my gallery to check out my artwork, and make sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to follow along on my journey.