You Murdered an Artist

What art do you love?  What art do you despise?  Art would inspire you to voice that opinion, but what is interesting to me is the transparency.  When you experience art, you are not commenting about the art, you are commenting about your deepest self.  A self that you usually aren’t even aware of.  You do not view art, art views you.  It asks you about your pain and your bliss and words project out from your soul. 


Both the artist and the individual experiencing the art have opinions.  The art itself has no opinion.  Art is a conversation put forth by an artist.  Suspended in space and time, it can engage at any time in it’s life simply by one experiencing it.  You hop right into a conversation with the artist and there is chemistry.  You are offended, inspired, enlightened, destroyed, ecstatic.  One must consider that many people passing by the same painting will all have a different experience and therefore, these opinions are of the passerby themselves. 

As an artist, from time to time people voice their opinions about my art and it can be crippling.  For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why we do this.  Here are these humans who usually make nothing, and work very hard at creating things from the inspiration we get from the universe.  These people offer you a perspective.  When I create art, I am channeling something I don’t fully understand but it is a beautiful moment.  How then, could someone just slash my pure moment that I’ve captured?  Why? 

It took me a long time to realize this.  Those opinions are of themselves.  I’ve triggered something in them.  If I’ve made them cry, I made a connection with them.  A bridge between my pain and theirs.  But it is their pain that makes them cry, ultimately.  If they voice that they hate it and it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen or heard, it’s likely that you’ve touched a sore spot inside them that they've confronted.  If they say they could do better, they are competing with themselves and may be upset that they have not embraced the natural artist within themselves.  It’s actually very transparent.  An art gallery is a therapy session for everyone who enters.  Vomiting their deepest desires, woes, angers, regrets.  If one only knew how art peers into us, the paintings on a wall would disappear and we would observe the truth in these interactions.  We feel so driven to voice these emotions because the artist has shaken them loose within us.  And maybe these opinions should NOT be kept inside because of that.  When we talk about art, we are having a much deeper conversation with others than we realize.  Perhaps some of the deepest. 

I think this is a crucial thing to note because the person experiencing art can learn about themselves and also be conscious not to hurt their best friend with the opinions they are so vocal about.  There is a time and place to voice your opinion.  I personally feel that a person should try to respect an artist enough to not voice their opinion and let them stay pure.  Don’t murder the artist.  They are rare creatures that are extra sensitive to this universe.  The only thing they have to do with your opinions is bringing them out.  Be aware of that as a gift of personal insight.

Dear artists, you must continue your work.  Make sure to not let other’s opinions steer your ship.  Lead those wonderful conversations with purity.  Don’t let opinions quiet you or hurt you.  Press on knowing there is purpose in you having been given this gift.  Their opinions are of themselves.  Once you see that, you will have freedom with your art.  Your work is beautiful.

Mike Slap

michael slavtcheffComment