More ‘commercial approach’… (Whilt 9)

What have I learned today (Whilt) ?

Always listen to your friends, even, or – especially when you disagree. My wise, experienced friend has the enjoyable approach of Renoir who was quoted to say to his dealer: I want to paint stunning pictures that you can sell for very high prices… When having a little argument I would say to him: Don’t talk to me money, when art is on a table. He would answer: I hope, you will grow up one day and adopt more commercial approach. I would never get what he meant, I would consider myself to be simply ‘above’ that.

Yet, adopting ‘more commercial approach’ for an artist translates into adopting the ‘professional’ manner – it’s inscribed into the nature of ‘being professional’ (making living out of the occupation); and one can hardly think about any great artist (except maybe for bohemian outsiders) who would leave his talent and his work at the mercy of a pure chance … Old Masters would cherish and indulge their patrons,  modern professionals would publish books, teach, join/launch movements and artistic groups, make friends with influential intellectuals… Contemporary, 21st century artists are found behaving like skilled entrepreneurs, some of them even adopting the business terminology and way of thinking.

To blame Michelangelo for serving the popes so timidly?  To blame Renoir for his (quoted) shameless approach? To blame X or Y today for seeking the attention at all costs? It would be like blaming Chopin or Beethoven for their eager seeking out any decent opportunity to play, to perform their art before an audience. What would their music mean (if anything at all)  if they had been ‘above’ any self-promotional activity?… After all, what really matters is the triumph of the great art – in most cases – made possible and enduring  only because of its creators’ strength of will, intelligence and an ability to keep their vain at bay.

And, as in life – what helps to distinguish between  the ‘lost’ and ‘won’ (at least, morally) cases are the intentions – you agree to serve the market out of love/passion (for your art, for art in general) or out of greed, vain – that’s the difference (yet never so B&W as you may know for an experience).

Therefore, I know that I need to start that ‘more commercial/professional’ thinking now and I need to improve in it just as I keep improving in other skills, which make artwork possible. I would like art to be become an actual force , transforming and influencing my life in the real existence, at least, to the extent that it shapes my personal, inner life.

As a talented poker-player, I know, would say: Good cards in your hand is not everything, is what you will do with them, that matters. Even great cards mean little, when you lack imagination and knowledge, and you don’t have decent opponents to accept your challenge… Well-said… Guess, I’m ‘growing up’….



About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

5 responses to “More ‘commercial approach’… (Whilt 9)

  • Hans

    I liked the idea of Duchamp playing just chess… I like the idea to be born rich, like Balthus (was he ?) or Picabia and make art on that base. I do not believe in the Art Market as it is today, but rather like big inventors supporting artists and let them work, like the big dream of an Google Art Lab…

    We artists must raise our own collectors instead of convince collectors to buy us… As a first step, I started to recreate myself as an collector, buying art I adore by artists I like.

    Any news about your more commercial approach ?? Best regards, Hans

  • skonieczna

    Do I ‘hear’ an ironic note in the last line of your comment? No, no news on the matter yet, except that this page is more ‘news-y’ and I think about constructing the ‘proper’ artist’s web-page.
    And I don’t believe in the market as it is today either; trying to establish my own artistic, relatively independent ‘space’ (gallery, workshop, group etc.) will be probably the first thing I do after the degree.
    I’m just trying to be more sensible – to start to make some loose connections between artwork-earnings. Otherwise, I cannot be that sure if I will endure as a professional on this field…
    PS. Time’s changing, I can see contemporary Duchamp winning the table in poker…

  • Hans

    Hello Katarzyna, very good idea ! I guess you do diploma soon ;-)) Anyway, I am also very interested in your results on finding an intelligent commercial approach, as that interests myself. I found it strange, that the grooving art market had nothing to do with 98% of the artists, but just with to make the 2% market artists only richer. And there should be a way for the others too, but probably not via the market as it was. I saw such a terrible show called “Mao meets Madonna” of a collection of some rich Taiwanese Collector in Dresden these days, the Chinese Contemporary stuff looked so poor, even Twombly look like “found on Etsy”, that one wonders, why the rich have often no taste, or bad advisors.

    Will you stay in Ireland later or moove somewhere else ? Is Ireland a good place these days to make Art (or a Gallery) or do you consider every place on earth best and equal ? Best regards, H.

  • skonieczna

    I’m planning to do MA, so – together with the BA (Hons.) I still have two, three more years. Yet, I don’t want to let myself to be deceived by the warmth and comfort of the college life. The truth is that probably very few will care if I get a brush in my hand again, after I wave ‘bye’ to an institution… You have to ‘invent’ yourself way ahead the life conditions will ‘invent’ you. Ireland gets many good professionals from England, its proximity to London and Paris (an hour of flight) is tempting considering its still ‘wild’ character, where one can relax and forget how crazy the contemporary life really is…Though, I don’t consider it to be the great place to ‘make a career’; yet, who knows – maybe it needs few imaginative initiatives… Ireland’s allure lays partly in this – you coming from the continent and you see how far away you really are – Ireland needs to be invented for itself. I consider it to be my land, after all… Best regards.

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