I’ve recently been contemplating the overall definition of “The Mature Artist.”
When we hear these words we can find some security in the thought that to be a mature artist one has to:
Have a strong sense of design in their work, props and characters aren’t just thrown about without thought. The artist can admire the work of other artists without doggedly reproducing another artist’s style. They have a unique style that viewers instantly recognize.
Notice, educational background or annual income are not considered factors in this definition.
I am personally transported in time, to 1975 when Henry Fantazos finally found his inspiration for a piece of art that I have come to enjoy. “Temptations Under Magnolia Tree.” By 1963 he had a hard time placing value to modern art. He considered it to be “dead-end barbarism, invented by dilettantes bent on obtaining the cheapest uniqueness.” He cursed television as the “Murderer of Literature,” and in his rage envisioned wonderful still-lives.
Though, as unique and fantastical as his one-man-show was, due to his isolating nature, I can’t consider him a mature artist.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, published in 1983, to mature is to have reached full growth or development, to ripen, Payable, worked out fully by the mind; perfected.
None of this is lost on artists such as 1857 Jean-Francois Millet who created “Des glaneuses,” or Polish artists Igor Morski, who opened his studio in 1995. Nearly two hundred years has passed and for those mature enough to be honest, have seen how pervasive the artists use of his mind has matured and in this essay I aim to encourage my partners of such a respectable guild to continue to spread wide the halls of imagination.
The mature artist is not one that sees potential for improvement and clings to their crutch of tradition. I find it painful enough that as a writer and artist I must contend with those twenty years my senior who propose, “Unless you are aiming to have your works showcased among Vincenzo Foppa or to be featured in the Economist with Kathryn Rose, a Canadian “jobbing composer,” you will not be successful.”
Success being defined by how much money you have and ones networth being the gauge of maturity.
The mature artist does not allow the ramblings of a philosopher published in 1935 to dissuade them from applying ink to canvas. Instead they realize that Walter Benjamin was speaking from a view point of limited validation for his own material. When holding no political opinions kept you in business and anything as innocent as the “zipper,” was denounced as an ‘alligator of ecstasy.’
I am an affirmed believer that the mature artist and his or her work, and no, maturity is not gender specific, will stand the test of time, despite the profusings of Samuel Johnson. The mature artist knows that their vision of the world, expressed through art will hold a place in the heart of exceptionally young art enthusiasts long after this digital revolution and intrinsically that should be the aim of every creator, at least those aiming to mature.
Sadly it is very difficult to equate the essence of art with a numerical value. The great “Traditionalists,” rave against the youth, instead of embracing the change and suggest everything presented in the past 20 years to be worthless, degenerate, perverted, carbon copies of thoughts born from The Renaissance.
Which when we strip the boisterous voice of it’s regalia, all we find are the echos of a time that refuses to understand the beauty behind contemporary thought.
The mature artist not only knows how to take criticism but to include the voice that spoke out of a displaced world view of days gone by and bridge the gap that separates us culturally, economically, socially, and geographically. At least that is what the mature artist should aim to do.
When I think of the mature artist, I think of:
@Umbramark @banesias063 @AtalyaSuccubus @PorkyPiexxx @BrytlejuiceArt @cthulhuzann @sabtastic @Medra192 @celineorelse @Lewdua @Della-Kitt @OtherWorldSam @BunnyHarriet @Seanpphillips https://loveinart351.newgrounds.com/ and not necessarily because I like them personally but because in the midst of my transition between an average hobby artist they were voices of reason, willing to give advice, communicate and bridge the vast space of our highly complex world and just laugh and find joy in this guild I love.
For all the negative press that is dished out about NSFW material, sex, women, men, and any other thing a very cynical person can use to bring another down, these are the few visionaries I would ever claim to desire to have coffee with in real life and have mature conversations about the world of art.
I’ve mentioned Jenna Bryan in the past and I really should keep in touch with her.
I find we get so busy in our craft, that it becomes very easy to tune people out, forgetting that without their input, we’ve missed a chance to further ourselves.
In my youth I craved solitude. I enjoyed being alone with my pad and pen, never watching television, rarely played video games, had one or two friends. Believing that because I was a military brat, and I moved from place to place, having no roots, meant severing all ties and those I neglected were just not mature enough to stand alone.
As I’ve gotten older and desired to have a home for my assorted displays, I’ve been hankering to throw a celebration. To raise a toast to the loving nurturer that Art is.
As technology rages on to make all of us next door neighbors, beauty is captured, scanned, digitized, tweeted, archived and set to make us all remembered, worked out fully by the mind, perfected, matured.