I just bought an amazing picture at the Chelsea Artists Fair last weekend. I totally fell in love with it. It started me thinking about the shared and different experiences of visual artists and stage actors. In talking with the creator of this work, I learned that she had been thinking about this project for quite some time. She told me that it had been on her studio for a long time and that she had finished it only 3 days before she sold it. It was a mixed media work and she said she put a few more pieces of paper on it just recently. She told me the story of where she got some of the paper that she put on the work.
I couldn’t help wondering how she felt seeing it go away. I jokingly asked her if she wanted to kiss it goodbye. Then, I thought, maybe she did? I was so excited about buying it, that I hugged her. Yes, I paid her a nice amount of money for it, but I wonder if it was difficult to give up something that had been a part of her for such a long time.
Then I began thinking how this might be similar to being on stage. For example, on stage, we also spend weeks creating. We think about our characters, create their story, find their pulse, and become them. It takes a huge amount of energy to create. With a play, the audience claps so you know what they are thinking pretty quickly. With an art show, often people look at the art and walk by. I’m never sure whether I should tell the artist how much I like their work, even if I have no thoughts of buying it. But, if I say nothing, it may be like an audience not clapping.
With theater, you are usually rehearsing with others plus a director, so that you receive feedback throughout the process. But, an artist alone, unless they are involved in a peer group, do they get feedback? It seems pretty darn scary, like perhaps doing a one-person monologue show.
And here’s another similarity. This artist in some ways had to trust that I would value her painting as much as she did. I felt some obligation to tell her where it was going to go and have her know that it was revered. I wonder if that is a bit similar to a playwright having a play published and trusting that whoever takes that play will perform and interpret it well. So, in a way, the painting and the play are one art form, and then they become a second art form based on how they are displayed or performed, respectively. And, then of course, there is the audience, who reacts to the art however it is displayed or performed.
So art turns into art turns into art. The creativity goes on and on and on…. Lots to wonder about.