The topic of authenticity has been in our attention a lot at Art Marketing Secrets lately. It started with an innocent discussion about why some art feels like decoration and other art truly feels like art. And what is art really anyway?
Well – we could all sit around debating that last point until the cows and the pink elephants come home, but the question of real art vs. decoration and why is one which doesn’t go away.
My opinion is that it’s all about authenticity. It explains to me why it’s possible to have a technically perfect piece of art that leaves me feeling nothing and yet sometimes I see a work that exhilarates me but is lacking in a mastery of the craft. It also explains why some artists can create a truly great piece of art with just a single stroke of a pencil or a few brushstrokes of paint apparently applied quite haphazardly.
Indulge me and I’ll give you my personal view on authenticity. And I didn’t study psychology so be warned!
I think each one of us has a chariot and a team of very powerful horses – just like Charlton Heston’s character in “Ben Hur”. Each of the horses represents a different aspect of our nature and our dreams.
- Our subconscious program which is often operating on very basic thought processes like survival and pleasure or what our parents or teachers wanted for us.
- Our conscious thoughts which can be very focused or scattered like autumn leaves.
- Our emotions which run independently and explore the whole spectrum of pleasure and pain, sometimes from moment to moment.
- Our physical reality where we are challenged with learning and mastering the actual techniques that can translate all the impulses from those other parts of us onto the canvas or into the clay or glass or metal we work with.
And then, beyond all that noise, standing in our chariot, very calm in the midst of this vortex of experience and activity is the true us – the dreamer of the dream. We had a plan and a purpose for this race but what was it?
Will we remember and take charge of the horses and run the best race? Or will we stay half conscious and let every horse run in its own direction and rip the chariot apart?
When we connect with our true dreams and purpose and master the incredibly powerful team ofÂ horses pulling our chariot we launch forth at maximum speed into a zone where anything is possible and our dreams can pour forth freely into our work.
Its a recipe for creating great art or a true dream or a true life.
What does this have to do with selling art? People can sense authenticity a mile away. It is such a powerful thing to see the work of a person who is truly aligned in their purpose and efforts. Like a big electromagnet, it can attract exactly the right people who will love and purchase your work – if that is your dream.
But all of this is just my thought. What do you think?