I have been honored with the gift of a subscription from Betelgeux
. I dedicate this entry to him. I have also included a couple pieces from his very colorful gallery at the bottom of this entry. I'm sure he would be delighted to see you over on his page.
It is very exciting to receive expressions of encouragement and support, and I am grateful to have found an audience as receptive as the group here on deviantART. It probably goes without saying that the receptivity or lack of receptivity an artist receives (especially on deviantART) can be attributed mostly or entirely to the subject matter in his or her work. Hence the preponderance of fan art and tits on deviantART's popular section.
On one hand, the guaranteed popularity of certain subject matter makes getting attention much more straight-forward, and it offers the opportunity to learn some business skills like supply and demand, marketing, "customer" or patron relations, timing, etc. On the other hand, you risk participating in the propagation of a status-quo that is entirely sensational and devoid of any real soul or substance. My philosophical approach to the practice of art validates the incorporation of sensationalist elements by seeking a foundation for the art piece that is novel, exploratory, or otherwise substantial. I think it is important for my work to be aesthetically stimulating on as many ground levels as possible; the work or aspects of the work with broad sensory appeal are what I am referring to as "sensationalist". Also the sensationalism is relatively abstract and, as far as I'm concerned, must be in good taste. It amounts to vibrant color, gloss, sparkle, intensity, sexuality, etc. I try to create works that are beautiful enough to hook one or a range of aesthetic preferences and that are also significant in terms of their inspiration and implications. I have no problem incorporating or glorifying themes or subjects that are popular but they must anchor in and be subservient to the core of a relatively profound overarching expression. I AM interested in selling; I want to be supported for the art that I create. The discipline is to seek support but to always retain an autonomous sense of direction. Andy Warhol said, "Good business is the best art".
One of the reasons this deviantART account has achieved some visibility is because of the popularity of my self-portraits, my subject matter. I do not regret their reception in the least; I am encouraged by it and I mean to acknowledge those photos as a source of my "success". I would like to think that the exposure I have received is not due entirely to the self-portraits, but their impact has definitely been heavy. That said, I feel that I have peaked in my current exploration of photography and I cannot continue to milk deviantART for its response to my self-portraits alone.
My progression as an artist moves forward. I think I have mentioned it on this site before that I have a background in drawing and painting that precedes my photography, and painting is where I plan to funnel the bulk of my creative energy now and in the future. I am sure I will continue to take photographs, but this account will soon incorporate records of my expression and channeling in a variety of media to such an extent that photographs may become the minority over time. I do not want to be a pegged as a "photographer"; I don't think I am prepared or willing to live up to that title... but, with respect to both mediums, a "painter who takes photographs" would be fine. In the past I have been hesitant to disturb my current following with any work outside of my established norm, however my present philosophy will interpret any changes in my viewership to be a positive or neutral-at-worst reformation and transformation of my audience.Betelgeux
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