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What does art recognition mean to you?

by Brian Sherwin on 1/15/2012 10:37:01 AM

This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY and Art Fag City. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Many artists are looking for ways to establish recognition for their art. That is one reason why art marketing blogs -- and other art blogs that offer advice on gaining exposure -- have become so popular over the years. This hunger for recognition is why there are so many art marketing books available today -- and so many art marketing coaches / services to choose from. There is a market for advice on how to become recognized for your art. That said, if you ask a group of artists what art recognition means you will likely receive a variety of answers. At least that is what I've discovered.


I recently asked this question on Facebook and Twitter and received several responses. Some artists feel that they are 'recognized' for their art when curators start to seek out their artwork for exhibits. Others described art recognition as being acknowledged by their contemporaries -- as in people recognizing the 'style' of the artist simply by observing their artwork without further information provided. Some associated recognition with successfully marketing their art to collectors -- while others suggested that financial success has nothing to do with recognition overall. A few mentioned that steady media exposure is a sign of having reached a level of recognition. Others offered a combination of these responses. Point blank -- there are a lot of ideas floating around about what recognition means for an artist and his or her art.


I'm interested in knowing how YOU -- the artist -- define recognition. What does it mean for your art to be recognized? How do you know that you have received the recognition you are seeking? What does recognition mean to you as an artist -- and how do you go about seeking it? Is it something that you must define for yourself?


Consider this an open topic about art and recognition.


Take care, Stay true,


Brian Sherwin


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Topics: Brian Sherwin | FineArtViews | Think Tank 

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Cliff Kearns
Hopefully, every serious artist should be able to get enough public recognition to be able to support themselves with their art.

I find a real dichotomy between being able to truly express oneself and the need to establish a style which in order to be recognized, then locks one in to continue to produce what's expected. (I think that might be similar to the Jack White model to success.)

There seem to be a few artist's who reach a point where their name becomes more recognized than their art. I suspect if truth were known, we'd all like to get there. In the meantime, many of us are still privileged to be able to get, and may have to settle for, abundant self recognition out of what we are working on.

Caren Hyde
Recognition appears to be a narcissistic need of most artists. It's a healthy need because it can motivate an artist to improve his/her work and make more of it. It can be an unhealthy need in that it can drive someone into making art that is a response to market forces and not true to the artist.

Gerhardt Richter is a recognized artist. Apart from being an amazing painter, he is known for employing different painting styles, from abstract to representational. Some styles are developed and "recognizable" and others that he does not establish, may go unrecognized. However, all his work is "recoginized" (and sold for huge sums of money) because it is by Gerhardt Richter. To be ultimately recognized, is not for any particular style, but for being a well known, and in most cases, respected Artist.

Cliff Kearns
Actually Caren, Richter is a pretty good example of someone who adapts different styles and has received huge recognition. I must learn more about his story. I'm not familiar with what ultimately put him in the spotlight. I remember reading that when he first showed his realistic candle paintings, none of them sold. They have subsequently all sold for million$.

I still consider Richter a traditional painter (even his modern stuff) unlike Hirst, Emin, Creed and other YBArtists who seem to have become famous as much by their sensationalism and antics as anything.

Bob Ragland
This will not be an exact answer. But here goes,
I think recognition to me is , when people say they have heard of me. I have worked on building a brand name for years. By diligent marketing, I have established myself in the Denver area.I am listed in several Who's Who publication. The recognition I
really like , is when someone pays me for my work. I call it the GREENBACK award.
By the way, I always work like no one has ever heard of me.

Alfred Currier
I think it's a double edged sword to seek recognition and/or success. The problem is that an artist needs to make a living unless you're a "trust baby" or have a financially supporting spouse. Neither of which fits my situation. So, remembering that art has no inherent value only perceived, an artist must be in the public's eye to survive. In that case, almost all of the above stated scenarios are needed to continue your art. If an artist has that financial support, then it appears to me that ego is the driving factor. Now, setting this all aside, most artists are introspective by nature so the otherside of this sword would be counter intuitive by nature.

Now, my mantra is very simple. When I'm in my studio, I am an artist. When I leave the studio, I am a business person. My goal is to never wear two hats at the same time as it doesn't to work.


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