August 5, 2013

J. K. Rowling and the commercial side of painting no. 2

"I hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience! It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name… And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances." J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling’s experience with her pseudonymous author says something else to me about the commercial side of painting.

One of the things that galleries look for is a recognizable and consistent painterly voice. Often this means that if a gallery brings an artist in as a figure painter, they want the artist to continue painting figures—and these in the manner they’ve come to recognize. This all makes sense from a marketing point of view.

But it can be death to art. So much about art making is playful and exploratory.

So, whether you change your name or not, it’s crucial for the painter to paint as if  she is free of the demands of her painterly identity.

If painting isn’t at least partly about freedom and breathing in the big, spacious, open world, it isn’t worth much.

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