Local Social Network for the Arts Community in Central Valley
Klaus Kinsky, one-man artist from the 1970's, died in 1991 and his estate recently put out his chaotic show, "Jesus Christ Savior" (Jesus Christus Erloser) up for sale on a DVD.
Having never heard of Kinsky before I sat, expecting a decent lecture on the Bible. What I got was a mish-mash of lucid bible-verses, curses spat at the unruly audience, and Kinsky's strange persecution complex.
"How can you take this splinter from out of my eye," he howled, "When YOU have a LOG in your own eye?!"
The veins in his neck popped out, his blue eyes were fiery, and spittle ran down his chin from all the shouting. It was as if his version of Jesus Christ was an authoritarian dictator, demanding, really demanding, that the man with two shirts take one off and give it to the guy somewhere else. Too bad, he really looked the part, what with long blondish hair and visionary blue eyes (he looked similar to those popular Jesus with the heart-wrapped-in-thorns paintings that have the eyes that follow you everywhere).
I watched to the end, after he had run off half the audience, booted several off the stage, heckled the hecklers, and chucked the microphone into the audience like a drunk rock star, except really, really angry.
To be fair, the audience was mocking the poor guy. On the other hand, thirty pages of monologue was a bit much to expect anybody to sit through.
But this is just another failed quest in search of the ever elusive perfect audience; the people that will love your artwork, love your vision, beg for your autograph, and spend actual money supporting your artistic pursuits.
For myself, I don't really expect people to fork over their hard-earned cash, but it's nice when people out there compliment my work, these blogs, and arrange to be twittered. That in and of itself is part of the wood that keeps my fire burning until I can mature, create even better artwork, and hopefully, at some point, exhibit.
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about how art can be a selfish act. Isn't it a little selfish to expect strangers to read your stuff? Perhaps more selfish to make art exclusively for yourself and further, to expect strangers to enjoy the art that is cryptic and designed mostly for yourself? Admit it, we're a bit selfish to think "spend your time looking at me, at me, only at me." But as artists it's a drive you can't shut off.
What about the audience? Aren't they a little selfish to expect to like every piece of art out there, to think that they know what good art is and what bad art is and how much something should cost or not cost? Admit it, they're a little selfish to say, "entertain me! Give me something to chew on! Feed me, feed me, feed me!"
Watching Kinsky really made me appreciate the positive comments I've received, the support, and the fact that I haven't had to answer the question, "aren't you ashamed?" to a member of a near-rioting audience.
But I can never lose hope that you're out there somewhere, you, the elusive perfect audience, sitting so stoic, waiting for me to stand and showcase my art or my writing, just waiting, hands clasped but ready to applaud, mouths closed but ready to open and to shout praise and hoot "Yes, yes, you're a genius!"
I fear, gentle reader, that my Kinsky-time will come, when I too stand before an agitated crowd, vehemently shouting, "Take that log from your own eye" and I will try to remain as tactful as I would like someone to be with me because you never know, that ever elusive perfect audience might be the only two in the auditorium not throwing spit wads, just sitting stoically, ready for the next show.
Thanks for reading! ~A.P.