Almost a year ago, I made the conscious decision to stop painting, and stop calling myself an artist. A very small part of the decision was due to the lack of time I had; teaching full time, newly married, as well as various other commitments.
But the main reason I have stopped has been brewing inside for a while, since I began studying Art History at Victoria University.
Through my studies, I was introduced to people who called themselves artists through their artworks, who had a very different interpretation of the word art than I did. It is almost insulting. Back in 2006, I made a piece called Would Rembrandt Approve, which asks the question of these posers, whether the great masters of years gone by would approve these concoctions as works of art.
Such an artwork was a wire mesh fence set up in a square, with some boxes, pinths, with flyers and rubbish scattered around inside. Art. Artist. Joke.
For me, these so called artists, who were claiming to push the boundaries of art, were not only pushing over walls, but destroying the very foundation they were claiming to be standing upon.
It disgusts me.
It makes me ashamed to be called an artist.
Furthermore, studying post-modernism, it was evident that there was no changing this depressing future.
So I turned my focus to photography. I have always been interested in it, but saw it as a technical process rather than a creative output. As an artist, I found it just as annoying to see photographers calling themselves artists, rather than being an entity on their own.
But since adjusting my focus into the world of photography, I have found new challenges, creative problem solving, and most importantly, fun, in my pursuits. I have found that most photographers in my circle of friends to call themselves photographers rather than artists. And I have found a new lease of life in creating images for people to enjoy.
End note: This may come to a shock to many of you who value my work, and to you I apologise. But I thank you for all your support over the years, and for your continuing encouragement in my pursuits.