The Fun of Being an Arty Farty Know-It-All

by David Finley

 Snobbery is delightful.

 Injecting your knowledge where it isn't wanted is even better, but what tops it all, is lording your artistic and creative superiority over the common person.

Finding a Place

 That's why you became an artist in the first place. Admit it. You noticed pretty early on you were a bit different from the other kids at school. Being creative and, what was it your uncle called it? Oh yeah, "quirky". Being quirky can be a lonely road to travel. Sometimes you got other kids to like you more by drawing things for them. Even though you knew it was cheap to use your art in exchange for false friendship, it was better than rejection.

 Now it's all changed and you can show those uncultured hillbillies just how much better than them you have become.

How to be an Arty-Farty Know-it-all

 In art school you found your purpose learning about artists like Giacometti, Cezanne', and Chagall. Now, you discuss the impact of Fauvism over coffee with your artist friends as if you are discussing the weather. and banter about how the nuclear bomb birthed the art of Rothko and Pollock. It feels good to be a member of the elite, set apart from the common man. You spew out a few more artists names.

Admittedly, you threw out a few obscure names in addition to the famous ones just so you might have the opportunity to don your crown of intellectual superiority. Happily, the crown fits beautifully. A contented sigh escapes your lips.

 You're practically a hero.

 From time to time, a friend who isn't an artist mentions he might like to see your work, you make sure to let him know you would be happy to show him your work in person so you can explain it to him. After all, it is quite complicated, and yes, you did attend art school so it might be outside of his realm of taste. You then complain how your work needs to be in more urban areas where the audience is cultured enough to appreciate it more even though you are aware your friend lives nowhere near a big city.

Dealing with the Common Man (A.K.A. your Customer)

 For a brief moment you consider the possibility of doing work the local audience might relate to and connect with a bit more, but luckily, you remember that pandering to the masses is what those lousy 'commercial' artists do. You are a fine artist, part of an elite group of creative purists that make expressive works that truly matter.

 But what could come from high art society breaking down walls to welcome the common person in on the discussion?

 Educating the average person more on art, which, if you're being completely truthful, isn't really that complicated or difficult to grasp, also occurs to you. Art is more about interaction than complex technical formulas. It provokes emotional reactions.

If the average person understood contemporary art in a way they could relate to and understand, they not only could join in the discussion, but they would probably be more eager to buy your work and the work of other artists, as well. Then you wouldn't be laboring in relative poverty as you waited for a rich collector or museum curator to finally notice you. More people buying art because of a dawn of new understanding could create a society that is more art friendly as a whole. They might even start funding more art programs in schools again if an increased number of people became interested. By giving up an elitist superiority complex, a whole realm of possibilities open up.

 But, that idea is just stupid.

 You once again come to terms with your own misunderstood genius. Sure, your brilliance makes it easy to grasp the high mind of the art world. You went to Art School. The common person is not capable of truly experiencing art. And while we are at it, who would teach these people anyway? You? Heck, no!

 You need that time to make your next masterpiece.


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