Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About

au revoir

one thing that came up this morning is this idea that one of the things people think might be hard about being an artist is saying bye-bye to your work when it leaves your studio and goes out into the world. i have met people who claim to want to be artists but say they can't bear to sell their paintings.

there are several crucial benefits to having other people or institutions collect your work. one of those is the idea that this will cement your relationship with another person. some very good friends of mine also share the dual role as patron. if they burnt my paintings on a whim it wouldn't affect our friendship - we are friends. other collectors, maybe i don't know them that well.
i can't call them and say "hey, you're remodelling? can i come and do a new-media installation in your living room, and destroy your wall, and spend a week wandering around your home in a daze trying to figure out what art piece i want to create in this ephemeral space?" but since my work is with them, in a way you can say that we have a relationship. it's not necessarily "friend." it's not "well, we're all going to become the borg, so we might as well start trying to meet everyone on the planet (even if that's not our natural inclination) and all get to know each other really well because we're going to be increasingly intimate with everybody all the time." what is it? it's a relationship. and that specific relationship can't exist if you're not willing to let go of what you create.

another one has to do with what art is. vineel and i used to argue about making some perfect imaginary thing in a cave somewhere. this is college i think, old old conversation. but art doesn't exist if it's not shared between maker and viewer. i'm not saying the audience can't participate in the creation of work, but i don't believe that art which exists in solitude is art. i'm sure somebody out there can make a compelling argument for art forms which you pursue by yourself for yourself, but i'm sure i could come back with an argument that whatever hypothetical act that would be, it wouldn't be art. it might be related to the artistic impulse, it might be creative, or allow the imagination to play an active role, but it wouldn't be art.

so, as i bid adieu to these pieces, i'm thinking hard about what it is we all wan
t, what it is i want, who we are, who i am, what is going to happen.

we're going to stay in touch. forever. i'm going to keep making art, there's nothing i want to do more than that in this universe. and i'm going to hang up my laundry and take a shower. just keeping things real.

untitled, 24" x 24", egg tempera, pvc glue, acrylic gesso, canvas, and oil paint on canvas, 2001

untitled, 12" x 16", oil on untreated canvas, 2002

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