In all the hubbub and excitement of my opening last week at Gaffa Gallery, I completely forgot to take any photos. I would have loved to show you photos of my friend Kelly, who I haven’t seen for 20 years who turned up on the spur of the moment, I can’t show you photos of a friend’s friend who was compelled to travel huge distances to see my work. There’s not even any photos of my sweaty ginger-headed partner touting bottles of champagne or the wonderful friends and family who thronged the steamy gallery.
Instead, here’s a photo of my prize-winning rhubarb. Why? Well, it’s easy to judge rhubarb, it’s easy to tell if it’s a winner or not. With art, it’s not so cut and dried. What makes good art? What constitutes a good exhibition? Is is better to be confronting or comforting? Do sales reflect the success of an opening? Do thronging hoards equal success or are the masses just art students after a cheap (free) drink?
I hadn’t considered how personal art is until it’s on the wall. It’s like saying ‘Look at me, look at me’ and demanding people gaze upon my creations. I was inordinately embarrassed by it all, which I hadn’t expected because often I like being the centre of attention.
So what questions should you never ask an artist? Here’s a few:
How did it go? Did you sell any? Are there any left? How long did it take you to do it? Is it a full-time job?
In the end, all these things make it worthwhile, and sales certainly would be a confidence booster. Really, all I’m looking for now is reassurance to keep going, that would certainly do.