Monday, May 11, 2009

Artistic Denial Disorder

I was hanging out in my little back yard with Quinn and our friend Nikolai a few nights ago. The Santa Anna winds were blowing in that warm night air so we decided to drink wine and eat cheese and pretend to be members of the European Union. In my imagination we were in France but I'm quite sure Quinn was in Italy and Nikolai was in Prague. We discussed our generation and what we are bringing to our culture as a whole (I know, we're such pompous, pedantic little art kids). I seem to be on the more cynical side of the viewpoint, wondering when our revolution will begin.

Now that I'm trying to recall the specifics of the conversation it's all a haze. I know that Quinn was discussing his art (music), and then Nikolai turned to me and said, "What about you Alex, as a visual artist, are you.....". I immediately became uncomfortable. Me? a visual artist? In fact, this was my response,
"I don't know. I'm still struggling to be comfortable with the title of visual artist. I'm not convinced that I am one."
Nikolai and Quinn both agreed that that is what I am and that they are both perfectly comfortable with giving me that title, and I think to myself, "How did I fool them?". And then comes the guilt of having pulled one over on my friends and fear of being discovered as a fraud. Both of these feelings are of course, absurd. My friends came to their own conclusions based on what they have witnessed first hand, not on anything I have told them. Yet those feelings of being a fraud somehow remain.

Why is it that I have such a hard time believing something that everyone else seems to be comfortable titling me as? I know I'm not alone in this feeling. I've met several people who seem to have these same symptoms. We all seem to have what I'm enjoying calling, Artistic Denial Disorder. Perhaps we should start a group therapy session.
This blog is a perfect example. This blog is supposed to be about my exploration as an artist beyond flowers, yet I'm five posts in and it seems to all be about flowers (and some silly little photos of freaks in L.A.). I haven't had the nerve to post a single creation that isn't flowers.

Well, my darlings, this will change today! Here is a piece in charcoal and ink on cardboard. The white is ash from a fire mixed with water to make a kind of paint.
Also, the image of the tree at the top of this blog is an original of mine. Acrylic and dried hydrangea flowers on handmade paper.
So, while I'm still not comfortable calling myself an "artist" I think I'm going to work on not feeling guilty when someone else decides to give me that noble title.


  1. If you ever go back to school you have the title of your thesis - this is fucking hilarious, and yet I'm sure as common a phenomena as you suggest it is.

  2. I struggle with this as well, I have no problem in seeing others as artist, just not me. For me it's being a writer, are you one if you've never been published? This goes on and on in my head.
    PS. Thanks for visiting my blog!