What's the most essential thing about art? The way you connect with it.
We see thousands of artworks a week now, the internet is absolutely awash with the skills and talents of millions of artists from around the world, and we get to see it all from the comfort of our living rooms, without having to make a single effort.
So why own art?
For the same reason that art has been treasured throughout the ages - it brings about meaning to our existence.
The one question I am asked more than any other is, WHO buys my art?
That's actually not as silly as it sounds. People want to know what kind of people buy art, why do they buy it, and why would they spend money on it. Because they don't know why people would own art.
The people who have bought art from me usually have one or two reasons for doing so, but in a nutshell, they're looking for something - love, beauty, truth, confirmation, validation, belief, something that aligns with their present or eternal purpose, something that's more than just a pretty picture, something that resonates within them, and transports their own life. The right work of art is worth a lot. It can have immense value.
I make art to part with it. I have a lot of people say to me that it must be so wonderful to do something I love, and it is, but they don't get what it is that I do. I make art for people who need art.
Art has to be one of the most intense and tension-filled experiences in my life. It's hard, it's super-challenging, and I had to work like a demon to be any good at it. It did not come naturally to me. To learn to sit still was the biggest and possibly hardest undertaking of my life. To focus my emotions, my thoughts and intentions, for periods lasting sometimes up to a year, was a massive journey in itself. I've had works of art suck the very life out of me, ended up in convalescence because I burned out, and still, the work would be there, every day, pushing me, driving me - art is not therapy in my world. It is the affliction.
So, why do it?
The joy is in the faces of the people who find THEIR work of art in my collection. That moment when the work is revealed to them, and they have found what they were looking for. They found something to connect with.
This is "Vision", one of my recently completed works, and the response that I got from the public was very rewarding - it wasn't a huge response, I'm not an artist of pop culture or modernism, but it was a sincere and intimate response - a lot of people found an essence in the work that they responded to, and found rewarding for themselves. Now, THAT is a reason in itself to love what I do, but the one person who finds this work, and can't live without it, that's the person it was made for. I don't make art for me. I don't make work that I can't live without. I wouldn't be able to part with it if I did.
There are artworks of mine around the world in people's private collections that will never leave that person - they won't re-sell, because the work is too important for the owner to be able to part with it. There are other works that people have bought purely for investment, with a plan to sell, but they know that they're looking for the buyers who want the art for that important purpose - to connect. These investment buyers help me find the people who the art was made for, by selling the work on.
We live so fast now - electronics have brought us convenience, efficiency, productivity, and we spend our lives looking for the next sensation, without any real sense of permanence - nothing lasting.
Art lasts. Art changes history, culture, redefines our world again and again. Art speaks out, art challenges, embraces, art encompasses humanity, in all its myriad definitions, as stories, as statements, as silence, as noise. It brings us together, it connects us as a people. Art is that foundation of permanence, it connects us with our past as much as it propels our future. It is timeless.
I can guarantee, when you have found the work of art that is yours, it will hang on your wall, and you will sit in its company, just watching it, communing with its essence, and reconnecting with the parts of your soul that it speaks to. It's not just about truth and beauty - it's about being connected with truths and beauty, grandeur, simplicity, space and time, trial and peace; all these things that we have inside us that need a conversation with the universe that understands, accepts and reflects what and who we are, without reservation.
Owning art is not merely a matter of celebrating prestige and wealth, fashion and sensation - it is ownership of the human connection with life itself, in all its variations.
So why buy my art?
Because it's made for you.