What Makes an Artist? – Grayson Perry and Sarah Thornton | Tate Talks
It is the very basic battle, a kind of violent arguing and taking sides of how to know what is art and decide about it strictly, or could it just be as simple as you like it as art, enjoy it as art. The same struggle goes on with who is an artist and can be an artist. Is it money that makes the professional, is it quality, network, school and family? To know is to know professional quality and understand the standing of the artist, how complex it all is. One definition does not apply for all. Measuring happens very often by evaluating skill, the artistry itself is the measure of how good an artist one is, how much effort and sweat art has taken to make. This idea is prized widely, what does skill tell us. We want to be blown away by craftsmanship, price and size, effort and extraordinary rare talent. Idea of normal physical labor and validation of certain results can take too much hold. To ask to copy reality as it is seen is a normal question and can you do it. Something equals good. People measure art and the artist via how much what is being made is exactly a replica of what we see and know. For many that is valuable as art, familiarity, knowing, recognizing, seeing, understanding and that it is also difficult. Artistry is also on which pedestal the person is and is a matter of climbing there, visibility, media coverage, being noticed, written about and acknowledged by those who know. Is this a spot for manipulation? Fine art is a highly specific specified field where expertise is required and those who think they don’t know enough are scared they make fools of themselves, which scare exists there among all. Maybe that is why scene is so stiff, very difficult to approach, reluctant to change eventhough it is talking about it and difficult to get in to as it is made of people who measure art and people. Interestingly positions of power are held on to a long time which does not help, conventions and hierarchies rule. Position gained is not given away that easily. Position of power in art is an interesting topic for the reason that the field is so specific, isolated and demands a lot of knowledge to know and be an expert of. Those who have power are trusted and valued. How power is used then? It does not look all that good in terms of making speedy progress.
There are those who decide for borders, walls, expectations to be filled and labels to be put on a person, reputations and careers to be had and probably the crowd is too small and tight. Celebration and party is a closed area. Artist is a kind of grand title and an honorary one as such, although honor is a strange concept in this regard, in terms of art. Is it honourable to be an artist and what does it mean? To practise what you preach? Make wonderful objects, eye candy for buyers? Double standards and looking good are a matter of keeping the impeccable image and what is art for other than image/habitus purposes, usually it is an accepted thought art is good for our spirit and health in general. When we look good we are happy and content? The grandiose and size enclosed there is part of the myth of an artist which oftentimes and more and more is a burden for art, artists, for the whole system and that it is male. To be an artist is a loaded profession, a fairytale and a fable, which one must over and over again debunk, break and disturb. Packed with stereotypes and clichés that circle in people’s minds, artist is sacred idolized archetype, this used up poster has troubled me and caused frustration, when does it ever change. How does an artist look like, how is artist portrayed, where art is when it is art, how approachable it all is and what is fear of art, how weird the artist is, how sick. Problems there are ideological and stuck always involving status, gender, class, money, quality of art, form of art, origin, places of show, networking, ways of interacting and talking etc. It is a whole bunch issues and beliefs that are and will be problematic, hard to overcome, accept or understand why they hold on so tightly. What is the turning point? One definitely is that art schooling remains available for those who do not come from money and that it is not a shameful thing to be working class.