BLOG WATCHERS: on view for YOU
Who do you consider to be the audience for your work? Do you consider the audience when you work?
This is a huge question. I'm not sure I have a complete answer for it either. I think as a graduate student I have to consider the audience all the time and none of the time. My first semester at UK- I hated the audience and I also hated everything that I was making. I felt compelled to make work that wasn't true to who I am as an artist. (I'm also a firm believer that nearly everyone in grad school hates their first semester and makes a bunch of crap art.) The pressure to make the faculty happy with my work and progress was heavy last semester. And most importantly I was still searching for my community and a mentor. Almost at the end of last semester I just stopped caring. I started making work that I felt compelled to make for me. I considered what the audience might know and might not know as a viewer of my work -- but in the end, I tired not to be too concerned about getting caught up in the audience. Finally, I was getting somewhere with my work. I liked it and it was being moderately well-received as well by the faculty and students. I carried this attitude on over into this semester. Which has taught me a lot about my audience.
I learned that my primary viewer is me. I also learned that I will never be able to truly see the work as a viewer either because I work so closely to/with it. But this was a big lesson to be learning (and I'm still working it out too). I don't care what my audience wants from me- it has to sit well with me first and foremost. There are viewers who generally see and like what I like too. So, it works out. I think with maturity and age, I will be able to think more intently about the audience. I don't want this to come off like I don't consider the viewer at all, because I do, I just consider myself first.
For me, viewing art is the primary concern. Its a purely visual thing otherwise it wouldn't be art. So, as a viewer, I have to like the work I see, I need to be drawn to for some reason or another. Maybe its the way its installed, formally, the materials, imagery, etc. but something needs to draw me. In turn these are the things I'm thinking about when I'm making- these are the elements I use to draw my viewer in with- because they first draw me in.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.