The world of art is controlled by art critics and galleries and to some minor extent academia. Galleries by and large choose their stable from those that have been in an arena where they have received recognition from academia. The galleries then have control of who gets exposure, followed by publicity and therefore a chance of recognition and credibility, of legitimacy and perceived authenticity. Art critics peruse the world of galleries and literally make the names. Now this would be all well and good, providing the galleries and critics had a corner on judging the validity of art. I have a more than fair understanding of art history. I understand the value of much of modern art that the uneducated eye tends to dismiss. However I also understand that the art world is plagued by politics and greed and therefore can be blind, so to speak. Making names is important to the structure of their game, but the truth is a big sticker price doesn’t necessarily equate with quality.
The art world of galleries and critics and big-ticket collectors look down upon the art fair artist. Their easy conclusion is that those art-makers aren’t important artists, rather some kind of second-rate wannabe’s.
We meet artists often on the street that are refreshing, creative and genuine. Case in point: This weekend we’re at the Carefree (AZ) Fine Art and Wine Festival and have had the pleasure of meeting numerous artists that are creating works of art that have depth and vision. Their work will enhance the patrons’ lives who purchase their art. There’s the guy from LA, via Uganda, with incredible serigraphs made from his batiks. They are expressive, imbued with narrative meaning. Talk to him, ask him about his work and you will be carried away with the story he tells in his images. How wonderful they are to behold.
Then there’s the guy with the character driven, original paintings, which are incredibly imaginative and skillfully executed–two skeletons dancing together, smoke flowing from his pistol.
Or the glass-blowers trained in Italy, with the intricately patterned colors weaving through their vessels.
Not every booth is filled with wondrous art, to be sure. The discriminating eye can weed out the more amateurish work, but don’t dismiss the lot or you will miss out. Art is for everyone. There is spirit imbued in the hand-made. Let it speak to you. Take it home and live with it. You won’t be disappointed.