Friday, April 15, 2011

Poor Me Syndrome

Yesterday, Robert Revak Dublac of Unionville, Connecticut wrote, "I am an under-recognized artist. It's a frustrating time of my career. I'm astounded how arrested our culture has become. There doesn't seem to be any concept of art evolving from representational to abstract. Museums are even giving Impressionist painting classes. My sales started to drop in the mid-'70s, just as my work became stronger and more substantive. Galleries no longer choose artists with conviction; they've become art shops. Fortunately the granting programs have been most generous through the years, but they too have their financial challenges. Even "Art in America" has become appalling! The imagery looks like something from my design classes in the '60s! I need to find exposure or a gallery affiliation. At present I'm in a backwater--just vegetating."
Thanks, Robert. FYI, we've put a selection of Robert Dublac's work at the top of the current clickback.
Robert Dublac is a victim of the tides that ebb and flow in fashionable art. Robert is right; there is a significant return to varieties of representational work. The tide could just as easily turn again. Many art schools during the '60s and '70s disdained realism and favoured the kind of work Robert still does. The result is an overabundance of abstraction and thousands of disappointed painters who are unable to secure grants and now find themselves driving taxis.
Artists need not be so appalled when they understand the fickle nature of the art market. Under-recognized they may be, but the bandwagon of the '60s turned out to be the stalled donkey-cart of today. Perhaps not surprisingly, it's often abstraction that now seems old fashioned.
Part of this change came about because of the facile nature of a lot of '60s abstraction. Collectors demanded more than imagination. They wanted something that appeared to them to have more skill and meaning. They wanted to connect. Conservative these collectors became, and they began to trust history more than the new "wunderkind." More than anything, dealers and critics wanted something they could talk and write about.
Backwater? Vegetating? It's been my quiet but persistent observation that the most anti-creative pills an artist can take are, "Poor me," "Art has gone to pot," and "The world owes me a living."

Best regards,

From Robert Glenn Twice-Weekly Letter
Posted by Brandt Eisner

1 comment:

  1. We live in a time when being a victim is the "in" thing, thinking that we are the only ones to suffer and suffer we must, veen if it is just a missed bus while others are being flooded out or bombed.

    The best way out is to look for something else to pay attention to, for thinking "Poor me" only makes us feel worse (I know; I've been there!) Robert Genn's advice, "Go to your room," is always the best; if you just start doing something, even tidying or cleaning your palette, you will feel like going on to something else and will feel the satisfaction that comes from crawling out of the hole and looking at the rest of the world. This is hardest to do when deeply depressed, and still, sometimes, it works - although having a friend to work alongside at such times can be invaluable. They lend psychic energy.