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Monday, January 02, 2006

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the recent exhibit, pondering what are the things that I did right, those areas that need improvement, and the things I must have missed that went wrong. The answer or a rationality came to mind while walking towards a nearby mall to get a breather: there's a "What's in it for me?" mentality dominating people in general and you have to provide an answer that would satisfy this craving if you want them to patronize your work.

Here in our country artists are still viewed like modern day hippies or beatniks, too bohemian to be understood, too strange to be seen with, a weird lot living in their world. Art and culture in general is a luxury that comes with a price tag they can't afford, people are always on the go and they can't spare any more of their time unless you can explain your work in under a minute or dazzle them in 5 seconds. Those who linger are looking for something else to differentiate their otherwise drab days from the others. It's a lot like the finicky nature of cats. They're a lot unpredictable like on some days they approach you to pet their egos, they love getting close to you to get their itch scratched, purring appreciatively until you satisfy their needs and they're off. They always know where to go to get their fix and unless you have a steady stream of newsworthy works at hand they'll always look somewhere else. Of course I'm not referring to that small circle that appreciates artists and their works, they were probably there right from the start. As a result the artists are left to fend for ourselves on the small pool of attention thrown their way. One has to prove they're worthy to be seen, to be taken notice of. You have to provide enough controversy to be talked about. Others hang on for dear life on those getting a lion's share of the spotlight hoping they'd get noticed as well. It's a cruel world but if nothing we need to change our perspective it's not everything in this life. It's not the first time artists only get their due long after they're dead.

* Related articles: How Do Artists Get Their Ideas? Culture and Environment as Sources of Ideas and How will the artists get paid?

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