If the art world is all sound and fury, what about the quiet artist whose work speaks for itself?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2018, 9:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 June, 2018, 9:47am

Today, the more outspoken an artist is, the more he is considered brilliant and valuable. But a true artist doesn’t need to exist through immature rhetoric. An artist doesn’t need to say anything. It is his work that must be outspoken, that must tell the stories.

The trend nowadays is for the artist to convince the most influential people in the art world that he is a whizz. The best way to do this is to use smokescreens. His job is not to produce art, but as much noise as he possibly can, and he must have a knack for this, because the more they hear him, the more he is an artist.

Sadly, the art world makes fun of the artist whose work speaks for itself. It craves the “new normal” artist who, loud and proud, advertises himself, aware that a product becomes successful if it keeps making noise.

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The bigger the ego, the more certain we are of our greatness, marketing ourselves as unique, whether artists or not. Why bother with an artist filled with talent and therefore no ego? And who cares?

But people do care and prove it by going in hordes to exhibitions of artists who were ignored in their time, and by not going to exhibitions of the egos of the moment.

Is there any room for the quiet artist today? No, unless a reset is looming. Why would those who thrive on smokescreens not buy a smokescreener? The art bubble is fuelled by smoke, it is king. The fools are those of us smiling and waiting for it to abdicate.

John Dassieu, New York City