Art as Children

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Many artists often compared their works to children. When asked what their favorite novel or painting is, they would respond with something like, "How do you pick a favorite child?"

But to my mind, what makes art difficult is that the products are closer to a person than children. When someone asks me "What poem is your favorite?" it strikes me as asking, "Which toe do you like best?"

This sounds dramatic, and I don't mean it to be so. One of the things that makes publication very hard for many, myself included is that it is akin to standing naked on a soapbox at the corner of the village green and shouting, "I have something important to say." You are completely exposed to the world. Every work I have produced still feels as though it is a part of me. And reading the older works, I become for a moment the person I was when I wrote them, and the person that I still am as a result of writing them.

So, I probably overstate, but for me, the metaphor of children fails, because as much as I love my son, I feel somewhat differently--not love precisely--about my big toe.

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The difference for me is; my paintings and drawings and poetry, I can love, equally or unequally but they cannot love me back at all.

And, my art is principally an expression of me. Our children also express their own unique self.


Yes, Owen nails it. Art is procreation, it is self-expression, self-realization, and self-creation.

I may have written "Art is procreation" where I meant to write "Art is not procreation." If so, let it stand corrected.

Dear Owen and Rob,

I think you have said it well. My point was simply to say that Art products are not like children. For one thing, as great as Art may be, children are infinitely more precious--and when it comes to a choice between one or the other I will always chose the child--which may be why I might never be a great artist. It isn't my first and my only love--never will be--and for a genius, I almost think it must be. But perhaps not.



I don't buy it. I always know which painting is my favorite. It might change, but there is never a time when I can't.

As to art works being like children, hogwash.

You cannot take a child fifteen years later and rework it.

And if that fails, you cannot burn it.

And if it succeeds, you can't then sell it.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 27, 2006 8:14 PM.

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