Art & Design Magazine

The Kindness of Artists

By Rodjonesartist


Okay…I’m not so naive as to think every artist is kind, especially when it comes to comments they make about other artists work. Amazingly the vast majority of artists are extremely complementary when they view or chat with another artist regarding each other’s work. As a group of people we artists share a deep common inter-connectivity.

Poet Robert Frost said:

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.

My interpretation is:

I’m an artist and I recognize one when I see one. If you are one… you know.

Meeting another artist for the first time is somewhat like your first day in grade school. There’s excitement and insecurity all rolled into one.  You may think…well his or her work is pretty good…even if it is superior to your own, we can always fall back on the notion that “well it’s just not my style, my genre, or???”

Jeff Coons, Damien Hirst…have you ever watched those two together?? One can only speculate what’s going on in their collective minds. This would be a real treat for someone like Tonya Reiman. Even I can make an uneducated guess as to what their body language is telegraphing towards each other. There’s no doubt there lies some mutual respect, but there is an underlying tone of ___________(add Alpha Male term here).

The titans of one-ups-man-ship/showman-ship/and out & out esteemed respect and rivalry was the relationship between Picasso & Matisse. Matisse reluctantly gave Picasso a prized painting of his 13-year-old daughter Marguerite. Only to find out later that Picasso and his cronies used it as a target for a suction cup dart game, where one gained points through proximity to Marguerite eye.  Picasso kept this painting as a prized possession his entire life. Although they were legendary rivals, their mutual respect was ever present, and when Matisse died Picasso’s live in love Françoise Gilot that Picasso never really got over the loss of his dear friend.

Legions of artists have identified and/or created rivals or disquieted relationships. Van Gogh and Gauguin… just look at how they painted each other’s chairs. One implied lilliputian-ism and the other heroic eroticism. But yet they had a karmic sense of being soul mates in the world of art.

Social media is allowing artists to connect with other artists from all over the world. Work, musings and creative ideas are shared at a lightening pace, but yet no one seems to be attacking one another. You almost always find one artist compliments the other’s work an often calls out a particular image and says, ” I like your piece entitled____. It demonstrates dynamic depth & amazing use of color.”

As a group of people artists are amazingly kind and respectful to each other…even through rivalry we all share the common joy of creativity. We identify with each other. No matter what your background, the language you speak or your life’s history the creative spirit shines through.

Community - Rod Jones Artist - Oil on Canvas-48”w x 30”h

Community - Rod Jones Artist - Oil on Canvas-48”w x 30”h

Snowflakes… no two are alike but yet they’re all the same. Just like the artistic community. ~R.J.~


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