How to make better art
April 16, 2023

I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) last week. I did not like most of the works; they were all conceptual, I guess. But maybe it's just me; I hardly get excited about anything. There was some photography that reminded me of the work we were doing at uni when I was only 20 years old. Then how did that work make it to the country's top museum? I guess it's because of the process that the artist has gone through. From networking and making connections with people who make decisions to a continuous portfolio that shows how he or she arrived there by taking a photo that a photography student will.

Anyone might be able to paint something like Rothko, but he did it in the right time and place. Process is important, but I do not think it is the only thing that is differentiating a noticed artist from one who is not. Let's be clear; I agree that an artist should create what they want to (this topic can be another post), but wanting to be successful and make a living out of it is as important.

However, it seems to depend on lots of chance. There is a back and forth in my mind between what I want to create and what is interesting to others. Anyway, I think I am still too attached to representing reality, which is not wrong, but it's not mine nor art's ultimate goal, I think. It is not mine because the art that I appreciate and made me want to be an artist is not just a reproduction of life (unless it has been framed meaningfully). It is not art's either, as even the most realistic painting or photo is an idea and not random life.

I am aware of this limitation, but I think it is necessary at this stage. I need to learn swimming and become confident before diving into the deep of image-making or painting for me. (Maybe I should call myself a painter instead of an artist; what is an artist anyway? It looks like anyone making anything is called an artist.)

When I was at the MCA, I thought that when I first saw a Van Gogh, even before knowing he was a great artist or what was special about his painting, I liked it. An instant effect. For me, that is art, not trying and reading complex statements in a museum and worrying about how I can do the same. My goal is to make something that people can get and enjoy.

So why do I hate pop art as well? :) Let's write again. I want to find people who see and feel like me and make a friendship with them over my art. I want them to not feel alone. I want them to think someone else also gets it. Wow, this is a huge claim. This is the path. I will do my best.

PS: The post's image is a copy I made of Van Gogh's portrait and the cover a painting that Gauguin made of him.