It’s not uncommon for people to ask artists where they get their inspiration or techniques and it is also not uncommon for artists to ramble off on some tangent, using words that make them sound like they actually know what they are talking about. Personally, have a different approach. Ready? Here it is: “Like it? Thank you!” I hate rambling on and on about my paintings, I don’t make them to talk about myself. I make them for some therapeutic reasons, but I gather that some people like to hear little stories about the painting. I don’t mind that so much, however at the last First Friday event where I showed my paintings, an art snob who was clearly uninterested in actually buying a painting from anyone, walked through the gallery asking each artist questions that were for the benefit of making himself sound intellectual. When he finally approached me, he began to fire off questions such as which artists or styles influenced me or what kind of brush strokes and techniques I used and then he asked me, “What were you thinking about when you painted this?” I politely responded that I just paint whatever pops in my head that day. He was dissatisfied with this answer. Pressing further he asked, “No, really? Each brush stroke should have a thought, an idea behind it.” He gloated, waiting for a response. And this is what it was: “Well, the whole point of my painting is that I DON’T think! I find that I do most of my paintings, such as the one you are referring to when I can’t sleep because my daughter is hooked up to an EEG machine or having a sleep study and I am sitting there trying not to think about her pulse/ oxygen levels dropping. Are there any other paintings you have questions about?” He studdered out a “thank you for your time” and moved on to the next unsuspecting artist. I was left doing the gloating. It was probably rude, but so was he.
My response to an art snob. August 7, 2010