Monday, March 24, 2008

A Play of Art

"Peace Offering," (c) 2008 Jeane Vogel Photography, Hand Altered Polaroid

Sometimes I will engage a person looking at my work and it's suddenly clear I have misunderstood. I thought they were looking at my work in awe, but apparently it was confusion -- or worse!

The person doesn't seem to know what to say to me, and they fumble. Occasionally that fumble turns to "Gosh, it looks like you have a lot of fun with your work."

Well, that's pretty neutral. Doesn't sound too bad.

Oh, yes, I love this work! I gush. Then I realize -- they're really trying to get away because they don't find the work compelling at all. They might not understand, or they might not like it, but they want to be polite -- so they unwittingly downgrade my work to something frivolous, frolicsome or lighthearted.

Hey! I want to yell: It's called a WORK of art, not a PLAY of art. I put some serious effort in here!

Then I realize that the work we do in the studio or in field is supposed to look effortless. I don't want the technique to show. I want the ART to show. It should look as if I'm having fun.

Maybe it should be called a play of art.

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