Sunday, August 8, 2010

Art Buyers' Comfort Zone

1987 Man Booker Award winner - Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively had a brief description of an artist's struggle.

On page 179 (Grove Press paperpack), it says:
I can quite understand why few people want to buy his paintings; they are too uncomfortable to live with. They howl of malaise; they jar the eye; they are discordant and disturbing. Nightmare creatures stalk through surreal landscapes; things fall apart; anguished people scurry in broken cities. They hang on my (Claudia H) walls, but then I have no choice: if I won't honour them, who will? Anyway, I'm used to them.
I'm afraid that this description is all too true. Considering nowadays smaller living spaces art buyers have, versus castles and manor in the past, I can hardly blame people who don't want to hang disturbing images on their limited walls.

My landscapes sell much better than my portraits, precisely because my portraits tend to be more jarring and disturbing, either in your face or challenging. I know if I "modify" a little of my approaches or subjects, I will have better commercial success. Yet, I will not.

I only need to find my Claudia Hampton.

Source / 源 / Quelle
Source © Matthew Felix Sun

Grandma / 祖母 / Oma
Grandma © Matthew Felix Sun

Sometimes, I did meet my Hampton.

Companion / 夥伴 / Begleiter
Companion © Matthew Felix Sun

The synopsis on Man Booker's website: Claudia Hampton has lived a full life as historian, reporter, lover, mother. Now she is dying in a London hospital, where she remembers the events in her life, particularly a romance with a tank commander during World War II, a passion that defined much of the rest of her life.

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