- Guy Martyr
Musings by the Artist, April 2019
Commonly, ‘style’ is a narrow formal range, readily identified with an individual artist, and a mark of artistic maturity.
Style is often closely associated with ‘originality’.
A style assists the commercial process.
I do not have a closely defined ‘style’: I have worked in, and continue to work in, a wide range of formal approaches: viz, the ‘Art Series’ ’ I produce. Each series amounts to a ‘style’ in itself.
I am not alone in working across styles, or series, as an artist: I might name Picasso and Gerhard Richter as two prominent examples. Whether my oeuvre is wider in scope, or formal approach, than often practiced remains to be seen.
My breadth of approach would indicate a searching: I have always felt I am searching for the truth.
Over time I believe indetifying aspects of my ‘touch’, my person, will reveal themselves across my forms, however varied the forms may be at first glance.
STATUS OF A WORK
What is the status of an individual work of my oeuvre? Certainly to ‘show’ something: itself, basically. What I don’t set out to do is convey a ‘meaning’: I have in mind a formal approach, which has coalesced over time, and which will tend to have its own formal constraints, or ‘rules’; and I work within these, in the wind of creation. I am probably pursuing some ever nearing to the truth, as I would understand, or ‘circling the prey’, through that formal means, and the outcome is what you see: it is an achievement. So: the formal constraints are of interest in themselves: the art-works are their children, also of interest in their own way.
The viewer will know that I have spent time making the item. But I don’t wish to guide the viewer towards a higher plain, as a ‘seeing guru’: I wish to provide an opportunity for a viewer to find their own path to truth: whether by contemplation of the art work, or (preferably?) by consideration that, since I have created something, this thing, then so could they, or at least to understand that every human has this potential.
There are indeed areas of concern that lie behind my works: part of the gestation of a series or individual work may be a real-world concern, or an intellectual concern, or a formal concern. These may indeed turn out to be of interest, despite any claims I make.
STATUS OF THE ARTIST
So the ‘artist’, me, in all this, is certainly a creator, but a creator from the ground, not from a pinnacle. My driver is not special skills and insights: it is a concern to make examples in the world that show how a path to truth can be sought, and travelled.
IS MY ART ANY GOOD?
Is my art any good, or is my dedication any good? Criteria remain illusive. Original; influential . . . Relevant, taboo-breaking, loud, big, shocking. Derivative . . . Artistic aim achieved. Nice. Colourful. Beautiful. Thought-provoking. Baffling. Confusing. Puzzling. Empty. Political. Formal. Minor. Major. Dark. Light.
So, is my art any good?