Friday, November 13, 2009
How to Explain to My Parents
This video was tough to get through, but something I need to watch at least twice more soon and will need to re-watch probably for the rest of my life.
It brought up a lot of important issues I have with this same topic that I didn't really realize existed.
There is this sad assumption for most artists, I think, that our parents will not understand our art. I can only guess that it is some raw fear that stops us from even trying to make our parents "get it."
The art we create is too important and too intimate to be shot down by someone who is also important and intimate to us.
Watching this video, there is so much tension and hurt happening. Art is an enormous part of this man's life, and it's something that he cannot share with his father. There is frustration and anger and I think he was brave for trying and his father is brave for attempting to listen.
There is so much personal work that comes with figuring out what we consider art, why we consider what we create to be art, and why we create at all. It takes years of serious thought and reflection to get anywhere. These thoughts consume my mind, and I'm only at the beginning of the road. But I know that if I were to try to explain to my parents, or friends, or anyone else but an artist it would be a difficult thing for me to do. I would have to catch them up on years of learned "art vocabulary," then fill them in on my own very abstract but solid views of art, then talk about a lot of things I don't like talking about (the reason my art is conceptual in the first place). Maybe it's my job as an artist, maybe it isn't?
The road to "what is art" is so hard to travel...trying to convince someone else of that same road is even harder, because it is more likely to fail.
Anyway, that video opened up a whole new train of thought for me about communicating art to the type of person who doesn't quite get it. Is it possible to catch these people up? I lean towards no, because each person who wants to get to "that point" sort of needs to do it on her own.
Unresolved, maybe I'll get there. I'll probably post about it again sometime soon.