Question Authority….

here’s one from paulonleave

Here’s a question for you: (I don’t expect you to name names.) Have you had the experience of liking a person but not liking or respecting his or her artwork? More specifically, I mean friends as opposed to casual acquaintances, and artists as opposed to collectors/consumers.

Many, many times. I’m sure most folks have. There are plenty of people who are great people and not neccesarily great artists. One thing that happens in that situation is that sometimes I can be unmoved by the work someone makes, but very moved by their struggle in making it. ” Respect” is a dicier question. I respect prettty much every person’s decision to make things, but often I feel like people have made the wrong choice in the direction they are taking their work in. In those cases, the options are either wait it out an see if they come around again, or resolve to love them anyway.
I sense lurking behind this inquiry the follow up question: if that is the case, what do you do about it? I rarely comment on friends’ work unless explicitly asked to, and in that case I would talk about the work in its context of the person’s whole preactice, and where I think it might be interesting to take it next. One of the side effects of that is that it tends to make me like the work more.
I guess that many of my ways of talking about things come out of experiences in recovery. While “recovery-speak” can be tedious and frustrating, the ways in which people are encouraged to speak about thier expeiences are often very useful.

Further queries entertained and answered in turn

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