Painting by William Conger, Harvest, 2012, Oil on Wood, 14 x 14 inches.
A constant theme throughout my work and thoughts in general are summed up in the final words of Keat’s poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know…John Keats (Ode on a Grecian Urn) http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry/odeonagrecianurn.html
While I am not a poet or even an avid poetry reader, there are some poems that have stuck with me throughout my life. This one has probably had the most profound affect on how I see myself and what I do.
People often ask me what do I do. I understand that what they are asking is, “What is your job?” I am an Art Appraiser. I am an Independent Curator. I am an Art Critic. I am an Art Maven. I am a Muse. I am an Art Impresario. I am an Art Historian. I am an Art Management Specialist. I am a Lecturer. I am an Art Crusader. I am a Free Spirit. I am an Creative Encourager. I am a Mentor. I am a Collector.
I can’t put this on a business card.
We are more than a job title. We are multifaceted mutable creatures who work for purpose rather than a job title. A job title isn’t really an accurate description of who we are or what we do. Now when someone asks me what I do, I tell them that I am a seeker of and crusader for truth and beauty. It may sound ridiculous, but it really encompasses the many facets of my work. It defines my purpose, not my job. My job is the way that I reach my purpose, my purpose is why I do my work.
Art is about beauty. Beauty is subjective. What do we know about real beauty? Beauty is Truth. When an artist succeeds at communicating a universal truth, the object they create becomes a thing of beauty. If beauty is truth, then truth must be beauty.
Finding truth and beauty in artist expression has become a passion. Okay, it’s more like an obsession. I look for it every day and in uncommon places. I believe artists create because they too seek truth and beauty. My work is to find it, uncover it, illuminate it, and share it with others.
Understanding that what I do has to do with my purpose rather than my job title has been liberating in that I do not live inside self-imposed or societal constraints that come along with labels. It fuels my passion because I know that every day I will find something beautiful to look at or some new way to look at truth by seeing it through someone else’s eyes.
I want to recognize artists who continue seeking truth in their work while ardently practicing their craft. Successful art comes when truth is communicated through beauty through practice. I am astonished and humbled by artists who allow me to share in their experiences.
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