What do artists credentials do for an artist? I suggest that the right question to ask is What do an artists credentials do for the Patron? Lets look at these two questions:
If I have credentials that state that I spent 18 years of my early life as an apprentice of A.J. Casson, then I studied for four years at the Ontario College of Art, then just for credentials sake I decided to take four years at York University in Art History and Art Philosophy. Then I began to make my rounds to all the galleries I could possibly squeeze into a month of meetings. Just suppose I secure a few great representation contracts with great agents. Lets suppose I do the credential route to the max. Then, after my highly credentialled paintings get hung in some pretty impressive places where many get to view them.
Now then, the first two people to view my paintings are first a Patron of the arts and second an art critic from an established Newspaper like the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star, or even the New York Post, lets just say that the Art patron decides he dosent like the painting. Lets also say that the Art Critic hates the painting as well, and pans it in his review. It is then that the artist realizes that credntials won't save his hide. Or will they? The critic and the Patron both decide to read the artists long list of credentials and low and behold, they gain a new resepct for the painting.
"This artist has been exposed to the best teachers, the best institutions, and even an art Master as well! The reviews change and the artist begins a whole new life as a succesful and respected artist.
Now lets examine the experience of an artist who comes with no credentials. But his paintings are wonderful. Expressive, colourful, moving, etc, etc. My guess is that without an impressive CV to "Open the Door" the major Galleries and critics will not even give it a second look if even a first look.
So it is true that by doing what is neccesary to get in the door an artist will be seen by many more patrons and critics and then his work will have become respectable.
Respectable. That is where I get off the train. It is the deep rooted view of this artist that a painting, or any type of art should stand on it's own merit. It should be loved or hated by it's appearance alone. I recall the words of Milton Glaser, creator of the famous "I love New York" logo with the heart in place of the word love: I do not place a description beside my paintings, I only put up the painting because the paintings impression on the viewer should not be coloured by the description that accompanies it".
This, I belive is the essence of how I feel about credntials. I have some, but I will never post them or let them be my precuror to a viewing of my work because I do not wish for the patron to think less or more of my work based on the certificate I received.
I beleive it should speak for itself. I belive you should love it or hate it based on it and it alone. Even a painting that has a long and very important history should be judged first by its own merit as a painting. Of course the history is very significant, especially if the price is significant. History does influence price, for certain. However I suggest that such paintings are collected by collectors for monitary value and not for a love for the painting (some exceptions are well known, such as the love Ken Thompson had for Canadian art, especially the miniatures which can be seen at the Art Gallery of Ontario). That is a catagory of art that is all on it's own. Even then, though, a paintings extrordinary value likely has nothing to do with the credentials of the artist, but more so perhaps the war that it survived, or the tormented life the artist lived, etc, etc.
Judge my work by what you see on the canvas. That is my point. Do not be clouded by the other things, of less importance.
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The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.