Who Do Artists Create For? – Day 29

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 29 of the 365 Days Project is by Jackie Abrams.]

Woven fabric basket by Jackie Abrams
“Grounded” by Jackie Abrams. Photo courtesy ©Jackie Abrams.

Do artists create for themselves or for others?

#29 – Artists create for everyone, including themselves.

My creative intentions have shifted over the years. In the beginning, as an emerging artist, I created to explore my inner self, using the technique of bodycasting to create sculptural works of myself and others. After several years, my focus shifted as I turned my vision outwards towards the world. My medium also shifted as I moved from the city to a rural studio where I began working with gourds and natural, organic materials. The work was no longer about me. I wanted to understand the world through nature and share those insights with those who would experience my work.

Every artist’s path is different. Louise Bourgeois considered her sculptures and installations to be a personal therapeutic process, connected to events from her childhood. Ai Weiwei’s work is rooted in activism that explores Chinese political and social issues. There are artists whose work is grounded in exploration – of new techniques, a way of capturing the light, developing new perspectives on traditional subjects, or simply to honor the beauty in the world.

Who do artists create for? They create for themselves, for those who are oppressed, for those who seek beauty, for a million reasons and audiences. Their work is an exploration and a sharing of insights. There is always an audience, even if it’s an audience of one.

“The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.”
George Inness

“In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent.”
Toni Morrison

“It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience wants…. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.”
Alan Moore

SerenaK signature

Sculptural vessel by Jackie Abrams
“Terra” by Jackie Abrams. Photo courtesy ©Jackie Abrams.

Jackie Abrams’ artwork can be viewed at: Jackie Abrams

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The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

Descriptions of the images included in this post:

Jackie Abrams, Vermont, USA
Scraps of fabric (from Ghana, Japan, India, Bali) and waxed linen

Jackie Abrams, Vermont, USA
Woven and painted cotton paper and wire, Ghanaian recycled glass beads, earth and sand from Maryland, North Carolina and Montauk Point

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