“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. To be natural is to be obvious, and to be obvious is to be inartistic.”

Oscar Wilde

I do think that there’s some truth in this statement especially when we consider it in relation to what drives and motivates an artistic practice. I am not sure how a practice can be entirely ‘pure’ or ‘sincere’ when in some ways or another we are inevitably part of a larger ecosystem and within its mechanism are at times complicit, in others, rebellious. There is a modality of expression through irony, there is an honesty in radically projecting your dishonesty. We have thoughts that we aren’t supposed to think about but are thinking about it anyways. That’s an aspect of radical vulnerability, that we are spectacular in all our miscomings.

All I am trying to say is that we have certain ideas and conception of what being ‘genuine’ or ‘sincere’ means. We romanticise these ideas and shame anyone who doesn’t feed into these categories. But these moments of ‘insincerity’ can point to some forms of lack in a person (whether it’s childhood repression, insecurities, etc.) and we’re all trying to navigate all that.

What defines what is ‘authentic’ and what is not?

“I believe that every artist means everything they’re doing, that no one is making art just to make money or pull the wool over people’s eyes. All artists may want to make money and be loved, but at base they are still serious about their art.”

Jerry Saltz, “My Life As a Failed Artist,” Vulture, April 18, 2017, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.vulture.com/2013/03/saltz-on-the-death-of-art-gallery-shows.html.


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