3 Replies to “If I am an artist … do I tolerate reality?”

  1. Do artists tolerate reality? Which artists? Francis Bacon, who talked endlessly about “the brutality of fact”? Leonardo da Vinci, who dissected cadavers to learn about anatomy, and used engineering to design flying machines? Is the notion that artists live in fantasy worlds and are wishy-washy escapists who shy from the blinding light of reality?

    I think with the good artists, the opposite is true. Even the Impressionists studied the most ephemeral and precise permutations of light on objects. Were Rembrandt’s late self-portraits to unrealistically flattering?

    Do artist not grapple with the human condition? Well, I guess if you are creative, intelligent, and dabble in how reality is depicted, you are out of touch with reality and avoid it at all costs. OK.

    Meanwhile back in reality, artists have historically — if one’s had an art history course — been among the most brave, curious, and exploratory about art.

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