A true artist is one step ahead of success


Speaker 1 The true value of the artist is made manifest by her distance from success.
Speaker 2 From final success?
Speaker 1 From final success.
Speaker 2 If I understand correctly, as an artist there will be a point in your life where you will have achieved perfection and after that you will not be an artist any more because there’s nothing after that point.
Speaker 3 There is no perspective point anymore.
Speaker 2 Yeah so you don’t want to reach that point, because once you have reached it … then you are fucked.
Speaker 3 Then you don’t want to lose it anymore.
Speaker 2 You are just repeating your perfection and you are not an artist any more.
Speaker 3 Yes.
Speaker 1 Is it something like … an artist’s value disappears as soon as it is …
Speaker 3 I would rather put it into perspective, it doesn’t disappear but it is measured by the absence of the final success and this absence is a kind of postponing.
Speaker 2 So when you are still searching you are valid as a maker of art, when you stop searching because you have found it, you are not an artist anymore.
Speaker 3 yes.
Speaker 1 Well the true artist never finds it.
Speaker 3 Success kind of kills the artist off.
Speaker 1 Kills the artist?
Speaker 2 Yeah.
Speaker 1 The success kills the artist, certainly, but then, art is one aspect of the artist.
Speaker 3 Of course , it is the aspect of the success, of the great success, you know, when you are recognised for doing a certain kind of thing and you change, if you are changing your way of doing, you are risking the success because people are going to say “no that is not you, you were better before, you know, so we want you to do the other things you were doing before the success”.
Speaker 1 But there is a sense of disappearance because the success causes the artist to disappear.
Speaker 2 In a sense yes.
Speaker 3 I think we should start with uncertainty and work from there yeah? Are you ok with that?
Speaker 2 I think the artist should preserve the uncertainty.
Speaker 3 Yeah, but you started with a thing.
Speaker 2 Postponing the final success until we find the right expression. Final success destroys the artist or how the value of the artist is measured – postponed.
Speaker 3 Well if you are a true artist and you get to a stage in the future when you think you have worked it out you are not an artist anymore.
Speaker 1 There you are – dissatisfaction is the point. A continual dissatisfaction.
Speaker 2 So that is why the market is not working for the artist now.
Speaker 3 Yeah because they validate you.
Speaker 2 They are working on your success to sell you better, but once they sell you they lose the artist.
Speaker 1 Stagnation.
Speaker 1 Eternal dissatisfaction.
Speaker 2 Yes, you can play great Jazz and no-one listens to you or you can make it big with a bubble-gum pop song.
Speaker 1 Or you could be constant, make work that is challenging, both to yourself and to your audience and have a market value.
Speaker 3 Oh yes, the exception that proves the rule.
Speaker 2 So of course we would like to be the exception, that is our final success, to be an exception.
Speaker 3 I mean maybe the exception would be that you make work which has two levels. You could make beautiful objects …
Speaker 1 How beautiful?
Speaker 3 … but that are at the same time pure and subversive.
Speaker 2 If you have something that has beautiful meaning, it’s form cannot be ugly. I don’t know.
Speaker 1 No, I agree absolutely, absolutely.
Speaker 2 If it is proportional, if you succeed to give a form to your beautiful meaning then you are a good artist. I don’t know how it is going to look like but if the beauty is there, the beauty of the idea then it is beautiful.
Speaker 1 And that is true success and true value.
Speaker 2 Yes.
Speaker 2 Because art, I think, is always escaping, always escaping from conventional taste. Because art is not valued at the time it is done, it is not seen.
Speaker 1 Absolutely.
Speaker 2 A good collector has the flair to find the person who will become…
Speaker 3 … the artist with the formula.
Speaker 2 Then I can respect her, she is dealing with the market but she is taking risks so whoever wants to be an artist or close to her, must take some risk. The art historians, the curators, the museums, everybody should not just collect known values because there is no risk, they should invest in values and that is the point.
Speaker 1 Well could we make all art have no monetary value? We have tried of course but then the market invests monetary value in it.
Speaker 3 You have that with the conceptual artists from the 70s, yeah, all those art droppings left over from their art, are now very expensive.
Speaker 2 Maybe we can postpone success by making bad art, maybe we should make an effort just make bad things, you know.
Speaker 3 The problem is that you can validate bad art.
Speaker 1 Easily.
Speaker 3 Remember, wasn’t there a period where you were supposed to do bad paintings and that was cool?
Speaker 1 Absolutely, but not everyone could do it.
Speaker 3 Could we condence all of this in one sentence?
Speaker 1 It should be like some tantric thing.Or maybe it shouldn’t be tantric thing.
Speaker 3 It must be something that could go on Facebook, like you know, that is clever.
Speaker 2 If not clever, it should sound clever.
Speaker 2 Put an image of an island and that text in a nice font on the top.
Speaker 3 Yeah, no, definitely not!
Speaker 3 Searching, because the searching – if I understood this correctly we agreed that the searching that is unsure of oneself, it is where the true artist lies and at some point in the future we will actually stop doubting and be more certain, be more validated and that is when we stop being an artist.
Speaker 1 well true artists constantly work on the edge of uncertainty and exploration – that is a bad word.
Speaker 2 Maybe the artist is always one step in front of the success.
Speaker 3 Behind?
Speaker 2 In front.
Speaker 3 A true artist is one step ahead of success.

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