The State of The Artist # 6

by Marvin Kanarek

“Body Of Work” is here, let’s see where this goes…

Someone who designs a single house is not an architect. Someone who writes a single song or set of lyrics is not a songwriter. A person who owns a musical instrument is not a musician. A single drawing or painting or photograph does not make an artist nor a photographer. The raw talent may be there but is only in it’s embryonic stage… As I’m writing this unfettered by preconception, I remember hearing this term, “Body Of Work” for the first time by Dennis Hopper. All we have as artist’s when all is said and done is our “Body Of Work”. A body of work is like a road map that finitely lays out a path, a chronology. The  progression of ideas and concepts becomes evident. Perhaps even a unified style becomes obvious. It is the signature and fingerprint of the creative spirit that only an extensive body of work can lay bare for both the artist and the onlooker. Without this vital commodity there is nothing to judge, evaluate or appreciate… It is the essential sub conscious goal, obsession for those who’s paths have been chosen. Without the body of work there is no definitive creative personality, no common denominator. Nothing to discuss.

Asking to judge or critique a single piece of work is meaningless. It’s tantamount to judging someone predicated on a single word, or taste just one spice in a complex recipe.

“Body Of Work” is a series of milestones that establish where the artist began, where he or she is now and even possibly foresee where they are going. The body of work for an artist is his or her legacy as much as a stock portfolio or assets are for those driven by money and material gain. A gallery, or record label, or book publisher will not take you on as an artist based on a single painting, or song, or word. A single work perceived by others as genius may inspire them to follow your progress or even assist in your development, but it is the “Body Of Work” that rules supreme. Without it how can you or anyone else understand where or who you are? This path that has chosen us is not for the faint of He-Art! The Muse has left the building… I will now stop…

The State of the Artist

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 7