This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Isn't it interesting that we like the art of people we like better than the art of people we dislike? Whether or not it is fair or just, it is a reality.
Just the other day, I was talking to a gallery owner who related a story to me. He had recently attended a very prestigious national exhibit. Every one of the artists are nationally recognized and command very hefty prices for their work. My gallery owner friend began talking with a certain well-known artist. After about 2 minutes, it was quite evident that the artist was arrogant and in my friend's words, "a jerk". This artist even talked badly about other artists in the show.
This artist's work no longer appealed to my gallery owner friend. In fact, as he looked at it that evening, he disliked it quite a lot.
On the other hand, he mentioned another artist who was quiet and reserved, but very gracious and humble about her work. During that evening, my friend grew to really admire her work. He liked her and, in turn, liked her art.
I have thought a lot about what he told me. There is a lot of truth to that. I am not discussing whether it is right or wrong to be judgmental. It is irrelevant what we should do. But the truth is, many people don't act how they should, but rather follow this natural reaction. If we like the person, we like their art much more than if we dislike the person.
I thought back to my own experiences. I have met literally hundreds of artists over the years. Some have become great friends. Most merely acquaintances. But there are those one or two here and there that were...well no sense being gracious here...jerks. I hate to admit it, but it is true. I would hope that I was above that, but the truth is that I don't really like the work of those who came across to me as very arrogant or rude or "a jerk". Some of their work I used to like before meeting them. In some cases, I even still recognize their talent. But I don't like it.
I associate my experience of meeting them with the artwork.
On the other hand, those whom I liked; those who were gracious, sincere, polite, etc.; those artists' work I like more now than before I met them. I root for them. I hope they succeed.
That is the lesson to be learned here. People will meld the experience of meeting you with your artwork. The more they like you as a person, the more they will like your work.
So, how do you come across when you meet collectors? Are you cordial? Are you gracious? Are you polite? Are you sincere or fake? Remember, false humility is just as unappealing as arrogance. Do you speak badly of other artists' work? Etc., etc., etc.
Whether right or wrong, whether we should judge or not, it is true: if collectors like you, they will more likely like your work.
Think about it for a minute - put yourself in the collectors' shoes. You meet two artists with comparable skill and talent. The subject matter appeals to you in both cases. You meet both artists. One is a jerk. You like the other artist. Which artwork would you buy?
What are your experiences? Am I off base? Am I too judgmental? Or is there truth in this? Share your thoughts. Even if you disagree with me, I'll still like you - unless you are a jerk about it. :)
PS I suppose some people are attracted to and like arrogant people. Does that say something about them?