Posts Tagged ‘Van Gogh’

Hard art

Some things I’ve reading lately have been rather ‘sneering’ at the notion of the artist starving in his garret for his art and that in today’s world of professional artists “wild eyed romanticism has been replaced with teaching jobs and curatorially orchestrated pr campaigns.” (apologies – I lifted that quote from artbash). Toss Woollaston’s ‘cinderella’ story is also bandied around as “it couldn’t happen today”.

I do wonder how much effect the Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) Scheme, where you can now list yourself as an artist of some sort and claim the dole if you are out of work or not receiving a sustainable income has had. Maybe that is why there are so many ‘artists’ about?

Do artists need to struggle to be ‘serious’? Has art just become a job or a commodity? Think about Van Gogh and the story that he only sold one painting while alive.
Red Vineyard, Arles (1888)

It just struck me how Woollaston worked in horticulture in the Nelson area (maybe too early for vinyards) and now his son runs the Woollaston Vineyard in Upper Moutere (any one tried the wine??).

The Red Shed.

To me an artist should be passionate about their work – but passionate enough to endure hardship? Does hardship temper them? Affect the art? Is art too ‘easy’ nowadays?  Or was it too difficult in the past?

Personally I feel sorry for the wives (and husbands?). You only need to flick through Partners in Art too see what some had to cope with in the name of art. How did it effect the kids?

Alternatively, look at people who chose a solitary life so they could dedicate themselves soley to their art – Rita Angus springs to mind.

Rita – photo by Theo Schoon

Again, so many questions but its about the journey, right?

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