Re-enchanted art

August 20, 2009

Further musings about why art as product, represented and marketed within the gallery art world is not my begin and end all.  Sure, it is a part of what I do, but not a particularly meaningful one.  It is a bit of an identity problem, though. I make art and enjoy selling it too, but my context is different.

Especially in the  company of other artists who are singularly focused on the business of their art, it is hard to communicate what I stand for. And why I don’t make an all out effort to trawl the gallery venues and events and make a name for myself so my work will sell better.

I’ve run across some quotes from Thomas Moore’s,  ‘The Re enchantment of Everyday Life’,   that reflect the aspect of art that really gets my bells ringing and my lights blinking.  It has to do with replenishing our spiritually parched souls, building community, re-enchanting everyday life. And yes, it can go hand in hand with selling one’s work as a product….or can it? Where is there any evidence that NOT selling one’s art  might be a reasonable stance?

Here are a few relevant quotes from a fable I loved by Keith Miller, ‘The Book of Flying’.

‘What do you do with the paintings you complete’?

‘I give them away or keep them if I’m fond of them. Sold art corrupts.
You are a poet, could you sell a poem?’

‘Never’, said  Pico, ‘It would be like selling a child’.


Later  in the book:

Often he wished for the loneliness of the forest, the loneliness that allowed him to place valuable words on paper. He had sold his poems for comfort and he was afraid to enter again the trials of solitude. So he wrote poems that lacked heart, written from outside his skin, written in snatches between ale swilling and lovemaking, and he did not allow them to steep, to cure, but read them at once to his friends for the applause they engendered.

2 Responses to “Re-enchanted art”

  1. Keith Miller Says:

    Hi – this is Keith Miller, author of The Book of Flying. I thought you might want to know that my second novel, The Book on Fire, is out. It’s about a debauched book thief who arrives in Alexandria to steal from the library, but ends up falling in love with a librarian. You can read the first chapter at millerworlds.com. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    hi Keith, thanks for dropping by. There was so much I liked about ‘Book of Flying’, the beautiful language, the intelligence of the writing, and the central messages involving art and spirit.
    Can’t wait to read your new one.

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