Contributing Factor

By Rock Rotante

I wanted to address an idea that has germinated from my watching a video on an interview with Susan Jacoby. She is an author of many books, and I recommend those who read this column look her up. Though the discussion wasn’t about art, it got me thinking and initiated the subject of this column.

There have been many times, since deciding to be a full time artist and devoting my life to creating worthy art, that I felt I may never realize my dreams of becoming either well known or famous and having my efforts recognized by the public at large or by future generations of art lovers still to come.

In researching art history and artists throughout history, I found many, many worthy artists who created masterful works of art and yet in this day and age, are not known or recognized for their efforts.

Prompting me to think about not only those artists, but all artists, of all levels, who spend long hours; suffer great hardship; creating worthy art that possibly may never get any recognition either local, national or world recognition. I started to wonder about what it means to the world of art; to the idea of art in general.

What is the difference to art as a concept if hundreds or even thousands of wouldbe artists never get noticed for their efforts? What effect does that have on us as a society; or the world at large?

I understand that not everyone will be recognized as a great artist. But does this so called idea of greatness matter? On a larger scale, what role do all these unsung artists play in the grand design?

I have come to believe that no matter what level of ability you achieve or how great your skill to create art, every contribution has value toward a greater cause. Every artwork created moves art forward. Every contribution has an impact. Even if you are never recognized as an artist, it still doesn’t deny the role played by every person who is creating art.

I feel I am not alone in wondering how my work will affect those who see it. Or if in fact, it will be noticed and appreciated at all. Yes, I want approval and of course while I do this to make money so I can continue to do this, I want to have some measure of influence on the world of art and those who view and buy my work. I paint because it is what I do. It has become who I am and the expression of me. I speak through my work. If anyone is listening is another matter. Maybe one I should not concern myself with.

The conclusions for me seem to be not so much that I be recognized. This is out of my control. What I need to control is the quality and spirit of my output. To realize that what I create matters whether recognized or not.

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