Friday, January 22, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors

©Theresa Grillo Liard - Oil on canvas - 9x12
click here to ask about this painting

I was listening to an interview on NPR today of Pete Wells, the New York Times food critic. He commented that people today are getting their culinary information predominantly from sources like Instagram. He made the point that the pictures are beautiful but a misleading impression of how food is prepared and how it would taste. By the time all the minute touches are put on the plate for the sake of the visual impact of the photograph, the food would be cold and ruined. He lamented that social media sources like Instagram or Pinterest give people who are searching for an outstanding food experience, a picture that's presented with visual impact in mind rather than an understanding of the actual taste of the dish.

I was struck by the similarity of his complaint to the world of art. It's relatively easy and even necessary for artists to create awareness of their work through social media. That also means that for anyone with enough technical savvy and enough nerve, the sky's the limit for whatever picture of their worth as artists they choose to create and present to the world. Sometimes the autobiography is accurate and just. Sometimes it's as unreal as an instagram post of an amazing dish that can only exists as a photo. 

So what's an artist to do? Shameless self promotion knowing that the buying public will always choose a product that's packaged as a winner? Or work your talents and count on the world eventually noticing a good product? 

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