I had this idea to invite all the people that bought work of mine in the past to a dinner party. Artwork is so personal and you don’t buy it unless it speaks to you so I figured that the same voice that spoke to each person would be a voice they all had in common. Getting them all together would be a way to meet that common link and it would make for some interesting dinner conversation.
I am positive that they will find the common voice quickly. Art is not just pretty or interesting or anything else objective. It has a invisible presence that is like nothing else. It has a spirit. Why do people feel compelled to do art? The spirit wants out. Nobody chooses to be an artist. I would have picked an easier career if I could. But it picks you. You do not have a choice. Believe me I think it would be easier to be something else. Staring at the canvas, or bland paper or musical score sheet.. and waiting waiting for IT to come. You can’t force it and if you think you can do it because you have done it a million times before and you are not afraid that it won’t come again, then you are a hack. Art will not be confined to skill or repetition. It has to come on its own terms.
Mel Blanc who drew the bugs bunny cartoons said he was terrified every time he finished a cartoon because he was sure there were no more in him. I feel like that immediately after finishing a painting too. Thats it there is no more. But we are compelled to do it again, We sit in front of the blank and pray “Dear God let it come”
that is what I am going to talk about at the dinner party and I hope they share what is in them that made them pick my work over someone elses. I really want to know.
Nikolaos Gysis (1842-1901)
The Liberal Arts and their Spirits, 1878-1880
oil on canvas
(Collection of the Euripidis Koutlidis Foundation)