Soundbite painting II


Enamel paint on canvas

25.6 x 20.6cm

Having posed the question to myself in the first painting from this group, and found an answer that is satisfactory for the time being, it naturally follows that I should look outward and make an enquiry of others.

The question is equally applicable to all, but I am particularly interested in how artists justify their practices to themselves. I consider having the opportunity to make art a privilege of the highest nature. Of course it can be mentally taxing, even a struggle, but to be able to do it at all is a most rare and precious gift. By no definition can it be considered a right.

I ask the question irrespective of the superficialities of "success", as defined within the established structures. I don't differentiate between the Sunday painter and the multi-millionaire blue chip chap. Fundamentally I am interested in how an individual making art reasons for the pursuit in the context of social responsibility. Because as an activity that, irrespective of the nature of the work being made, is in all cases profoundly personally indulgent at its core, it nevertheless holds the potential to make significant positive societal improvement. I have heard arguments suggesting that art makes the world a better place through its existence alone, or that art must be made to pay the bills, but so far I am unmoved.

But who the fuck am I to judge? Let me be clear: I am no one. My opinion is of no consequence and no one is obliged to justify themselves on terms I have set out. The only judgement that matters is one's own. I am well aware artists are their own worst critics, but perhaps, in the perpetual and relentless auto-interrogation that goes on in their heads, a conscious effort might be made to bring the questions of social responsibility and reason to the fore.

This is the second of a group of three paintings.