When Art Makes You Sick

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Let's face it, there is no 'real job description for being an artist. Success as an artist doesn't require a specialized degree or training. You'll never hear an artist complaining to the HR department about their boss. An artist -- successful or not -- requires neither.

Self (1991) by Marc Quinn

Rather I'd argue courage is the only thing an artist truly needs. Not to create a work of art, but to show it and be judged by it. In truth, it's a little masochistic. Yet despite this tendency towards masochism, or perhaps because of it, humanity has been provided a visual tapestry of the human condition. A visual narrative laying bare our greatest triumphs, losses and darkest moments. This is the job of the artist, of the creative.

But what about the viewer? Does being a 'successful' viewer require anything?

Understanding the role of the viewer has been a hobby of mine. Some, like my husband, might argue a border-line obsession. I'm willing to admit, my enthusiasm has grown slightly since founding Mona Loves Gustav. That said, if you believe as Auguste Rodin that

"the main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live."

Then how can you want to be anything but 'obsessed'? Much like creatives, being a viewer requires courage. Courage to recognize works that speak to who you are, even when you question who that actually is. Courage to feel the emotions, whatever they might be and know they are valid.

As much as the artist's job is to push the boundaries, their true purpose is to remind us to be who we are and say what we feel. All art is not created equal, nor are our feelings. Much like our relationships, art has the ability to produce a mix bag of emotions. Some remind us of a first love or adventure. While others are like the feeling you get when crazy Aunt Betty walks in the door. You know, that sinking feeling we all get alerting us that bat-s**t crazy is near.

This series and following works is my personal tribute to all the crazy Aunt Betty's of the art world. I may not want you as a permanent fixture in my house -- but god how I love your special breed of crazy!

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