Over this past weekend, I went to the Chicago Art Open at Merchandise Mart. It is billed as the largest survey of Chicagoland artists. The work at the Chicago Art Open is juried so this is supposed to be the best of the best in terms of Chicago artwork. I found it plain depressing.
I think one of my major beefs with the art world is that a lot of the work is plain junk. Since we are supposed to accept everyone and their ideas and their vision, these artists are under the illusion that their work has meaning and demonstrates some skill. Since so many artists have read that many of the artists that we consider great were initially panned by the art world, there is this unknown quality to who will be the next great voice. I’m sorry, Picasso and Warhol and Pollock were rare breeds. Rarely do I see skill. Rarely do I see talent. Most of what they do seems painfully random and unpassionate. In my opinion, some of these professional artists should make this their hobby and not their profession.
What I see makes me not want to get involved in the art world. To not be lumped in with the rest of these “artists” who take themselves too seriously and will throw anything on a piece of canvas and call it “art”. I guess I really see myself more as an illustrator and designer, but those two worlds are very different from the art world in a lot of ways. I’m not sure I fit into both. I sort of wish I knew if the work I do has any place in the world outside of my hard drive. But then, I’m just another voice trying to be heard. Another artist trying to get recognized. Another artist trying to make a living. I just wish I could put my stuff up on a gallery wall and announce, “Either you like it…or you don’t” and not worry how it is received or if you can get another gallery show or if someone wants to buy your work or if someone will comission you for a project. I mean…can you do that?