Artists (from) within
Many years ago I remember reading a beautiful book from Whitney Ferré (now Freya) called “The artist within” that made me dive for the first time into this idea of inner Creativity, based in authenticity.
Yesterday, as I was visiting the painting exhibition of my neighbor Luís Figueiredo I was hit by this concept again, in a very strong way.
When I arrived to visit the nice and unpretensious gallery he chose to show his work — a common house in Porto that has a front room transformed by its owners into a small but hype art galery with two nice windows (Sput&Nik the Window) , — there was something profoundly honest in the atmosphere.
Away from the ego-trips or show-off attitude I witness so often in these areas and events, there was a deep, true, welcoming invitation in the air.
I found in Luís a real openness and will to share and explain everything about his work process and also the “behind the scenes”, the unglamorous and honest side of the artist’s work and life.
Very naturally, with a beer in his hand and sparking eyes, he took me on a journey on what happened during the long creation process.
Instead of just focusing on the “inspiration for his work” or in the “metaphors behind it”, Luís was speaking about his way of living it, of feeling the process, his difficulties, the hours of hard work. All that was allowing me to dig more and more on what I was seeing, creating the bridge between the results I was witnessing and the creator himself, his individuality, his truth (and his humor too).
In front of the two bit paintings full of dots I could imagine him, almost getting crazy after having passed one month filling small black and white dots in 6 layers, while listening to Philosophy podcasts and visualizing small dots all over his house and body.
Instead of the “snobish artist” chatting in the corner with a potential client while holding a glass of champagne in his hand, there he was, Luís, with the same wore shoes that he chose to illustrate the flyer of the exhibition and honestly happy to answer to any curiosity. Far from trying to pass any kind of image about himself I could only feel his true dedication to his work, his happiness about just being there and being able to share it with all those visitors, connecting with them, being there for them.
That experience hit me so much that today I still woke up with the sensation I got from the exhibition. That opportunity of knowing more about the real person behind each creation and the possibility to know the artist (from) within connected me with his work.
Research shows that when the public is allowed to actually have access to that honest behind the scenes of a show (sharing, for example, images of the rehearsals of dance shows, when things are not so fluid, not so easy), they connect more deeply and engagethey more actively. And this can only be achieved by artists who truly feel it and who incarnate that available and authentic posture that comes from within, far away from fake postures and close to their true selves.
An artist who shows who he/she is allows a sense of closeness that brings us closer to his world and, after all, this is what we are looking for when we dive into the art world, isn’t it? A true connection with another way of seeing and feeling life.