When I was in art school, a basic question that almost all my teachers would ask us is, “who are some of your favorite artists?” Half of the class would list artists that are either dead or in a contemporary art museum somewhere, and the other half would give a feeble, “I don’t really have any”, or, “I can’t remember their names”, myself included. I didn’t think much of it then, but since graduating and working closely with Darryll and playing the “art game”, I’ve come to realize that we’re kind of told who to like in the art world. With players like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst making millions of dollars, it’s easy to assume that, because they’re making a lot of money, their work must be all that is ART in the contemporary world. This goes the same for any artist found hanging on the walls of the Modern Wing at the Art Institute or in the art galleries of the Chelsea district in New York. Side note: how many of you have walked through those rooms thinking, “WHY?!” Anyway, the pricetag, along with the lineage, is intimidating. Just like pop songs on the radio, they may not be the most thought provoking, intricate compositions, but they sell. Those people are doing something right. But you have to begin somewhere. I think it’s important to, as artists, start supporting each other. We don’t really have an excuse, the internet is a black hole full of information. Start researching the kind of work that makes your eyes jump back in their sockets, makes your fingers twitch with creativity, and that makes your brain melt. Next, remember those artists’ names and talk about them as much as you can because isn’t that what you’d like people to do for you and your work? I think what we need to remember about art is that it’s about the process, it’s about the story, it’s about the creator, the creator’s origins, and so forth. Ignore the price tag, you can worry about that later. Ignore the biggest names in the industry, you don’t HAVE to like them. You just choose your angle(s) and run with it. Our unsung artistic heros can be the building blocks to our own artistic endeavors, just do them a favor, and remember their names!
So without further ado, here are some of my personal art heros this week, just because they make my heart and brain feel GOOD:
A self-taught illustrator, painter, and photographer living in San Francisco. Her most recent paintings combine photo-realistic female subjects and make-believe and decorative surroundings.
Another self-taught artist that makes me wonder why I even went to art school. However she is truly amazing. Check out her comical, detailed illustrations at the link
Surprise! Another female illustrator for me. This lady creates delicate, wispy illustrations, often with a sense of humor. My favorite series is the Craig's List Missed Connections illustrations. Genius!
That's all for this week. Let us hear your current faves!