Monday, March 09, 2009

Fucked In The Art, Final Part

I'm not done ranting yet.
I've always wanted to tell those who leave nasty, mean-spirited or just plain dumb anonymous comments on this blog to eat shit and die.
It's easy to spit bile at me from the shadows. You don't have to show yourself the way I do every day when I write, draw or paint. You don't have to show your work either – especially the work, because then you'd be faced not just with my judgement but others' as well.
But remember this: anonymity is relative on the web. Here, an IP address is logged with every comment. And although I choose to ignore the worst of what's written to or about me, you can be damn sure I can know exactly who – and where – you are, if I want to. Go too far and yeah, I will come looking for you.
The worst nearly always comes from people from my past, people who think I owe them something. Which means most of them are from men: men who resent that I didn't do what they told me to, men who are pissed that I didn't fuck them or pander to their egos, men who failed to turn me into their cash cow, men whom I just didn't like (or, in a couple of cases, love) anymore. Most are too pathetic for me to spare them a second thought.
I respect those of you who use your real names on your comments. It shows you're willing to stand behind what you say, whatever it is, and take whatever comes back at you (usually from the malevolent anonymous dweebs).
I live what I write and paint. I'm candid to a fault. I don't care how anyone takes it. Which gives me the moral high ground when it comes to gossip: I have nothing to hide and nothing I'm ashamed of. I suffer from a serious mental illness. I fuck both boys and girls and sometimes find it hard to tell the difference. I spend more money than I earn. I'm hard to deal with when things aren't going my way. I work long hours – long fucking weeks – without a break and when I do, I don't answer the door, the phone or my mail. I lose months to angry, self-destructive depressive epsiodes during which I can barely drag my ass out of bed.
I handle my business just as openly. I don't bid for my own work at auction. I don't do deals under the table. I respect the contracts that I make. Also, I don't back down when someone does wrong by me.
All of which leaves little that's true as fodder for gossip or trash talk. Most of what circulates about me that hasn't actually come from me is bullshit. How can you know for sure? Ask yourself how much of it turns up in public, where it risks being embarrassed by proof of its untruth or worse, aggressive legal action.
I don't owe anyone anything (except, of course, money, lots of money). I sure as hell don't owe other artists. I try to support or encourage some I care about. I try not to hurt the feelings of others. But I feel no obligation to like everybody's work – nor to like them – let alone nurse them in their careers. If you can't glean the 'secrets' of my success, such as they are, from reading this blog then maybe you're just stupid. If you're too lazy to read it all, don't write and ask me for a summary. My limited free time is precious to me: I'd prefer to waste it on reading, watching TV or sticky sex.
I don't give a toss if you feel abject because I didn't respond to something you've written to me. If you've got the urgent need to express your resentment, be a grown-up and keep it to yourself.
In the last few years, I've made more money than many gallerists and certainly, most artists in Australia. I've spent almost all of it on my work. If, one day, the income evaporates completely, it won't bother me. I'll live in my van or in some squat in the middle of nowhere. It's not like I've never done it before. And I'll keep painting. Fame, money, social status, popularity and the easy life are fine but in the end, they're only really fun if you haven't got anything better to care about.
All I care about is my work, about doing it well. If I have one piece of advice to offer about being an artist, that's it: care about your work and nothing else. It's harder than you think.


Monique said...

damn good rant

Chris Mansell said...

Loved this. Go sista!

Amber Baiguerra said...

Definitely harder then it sounds and takes a long time to get through!

Kate said...

Your frankness is wonderful!

Queen Vee said...

Damn straight. You are so strong.

Paul Martin said...

As someone said in a previous post, don't let the bastards get you down. Peace, my friend.

IFP Handbook said...


And keep it coming. You're an inspiration, and at least for me, keep me swinging at my own art.

Just keep it coming.

Phoinix said...

"Fame, money, social status, popularity and the easy life are fine but in the end, they're only really fun if you haven't got anything better to care about.All I care about is my work, about doing it well."

Hell. Yeah. Perfectly said.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the guts to be an artist myself, so those like Hazel who do it and with the utmost authenticity and commitment, you are awe inspiring.

I was updating my facebook details recently and noted that in the section to fill in on favourite music, books etc, there is no space for favourite art/artists, as if they aren't an issue in most people's lives.

Its sad but probably true that most people go through life paying little attention to artists and their complex issues, until something senseational hits the headlines like it did with Bill Henson, all quiet there now.


Sarah Lacy said...

Usually I just lurk here, and don't often comment. But I read everything.

Reading this confirms what I've always believed - the work's all that matters. You'll take the sacrifices that are necessary, because making the art is the most important thing in your life.

I'm broke as hell because of my art, and like you, have poured all of my finances into it. I don't regret a thing.

Every second of my life has been worth it.

Trey said...

Just wanted to own a comment I made recently per the comments in this entry.

"No More Fingers In The Dyke, Part Three"
2 Comments - Show Original Post
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Anonymous said...
This was a pretty intense post, especially as the blog has taken a business-oriented track recently. I'll admit part of me thinks these posts are self-indulgent, but they also feel real. Thanks for it!

9:39 PM

Paul Martin said...

Self-indulgent? A blog is, by its very nature, self-indulgent.

Marnie B said...

I love it that no one has bothered to post an anonymous comment on this entry.

I am ridiculously broken inside at the moment, and the last few weeks of reading your blog posts have lent me a little bit of strength.

The honesty, the attitude and the STRENGTH of your words allow me to think that maybe I can get through what I'm going through and hope to come out on the other side with just a little bit of the strength I wish I had, that I see in your posts.

I just wanted to say thank you. I really admire you.

Amelie T. said...

Why are so many people content with living their lives through others? The strength of others may give you a little burst of energy to get you started,the rest's up to you.

don't WISH for more strength, or HOPE to come through. You want it, you do it. Go all out till you get it.ANYONE of us can do anything we set our minds to. I ain't tryin' to put the others commentors down, it's just that I feel frustrated that you guys're ONLY reading,& not actively seeking what you want.

the one essential thing is to believe.