Remember me on this computer
Hillel Kagan
About this artwork
Recoiling Figure
oil on canvas
h.155cm w.155cm d.0cm
Mar 1985

Hillel's Description: From 1983 to 1985 I call my mental illness period. I had just jumped in, more or less as a full time painter and I was really blocked by the enormity of my disastrous decision, you know financially and all. No contact, alone all day. Getting used to working when no one is forcing you to. So I just started painting that feeling. Yeah, Delaney I was exploring that Bacon tendency!

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Copyright ©2003-2019 and participating artists
2006-09-29 09:58

Yes, one can see Bacon, but this work has more life to it. Something here is reaching out, coming forward. Excellent painting....!

2012-01-23 10:33

"Enormity of my disastrous decision..". As a phrase that appears to be hugely negative. Did you mean it was disastrous at the time, or now looking back in retrospect? Presumably at the time it had to do with not having enough money to get by. Still, I'm convinced it's a [BIG RISK] decision all artists have to make at some stage in their life.
What brought that two-year crisis to a close?

2012-01-23 21:11

It's a bind because on the one hand you simply can't expect to make a living as a full time (creative) artist and on the other, it's practically impossible to develop your art fully on a part time basis. So ultimately the decision to be an artist is usually a tragic choice. My definition of tragic is not living up to one's potential. That's why an early death is such a tragedy. The inability to devote the necessary time to one's art is also tragic. You can't have everything in life and thinking you can is crazy. To be an artist usually requires sacrifice; material, emotional and most of the things people think of to lead a normal comfortable life i.e. stable relationships, marriage, children, home and hearth, etc. Most of us fall into some of those things before we're fully acquainted with ourselves, what we want, and what it means to be an artist. We find ourselves stuck and frustrated.

As art enamored students we're filled with vague idyllic and usually impossible notions. I wonder how many young people enter art colleges nowadays with absolutely unrealistic ideas of what it means to be an artist and how the art world works. Like all the kids who want to be rock stars as opposed to musicians they want to be art stars as opposed to artists.

On a practical level it's even difficult to earn a living in the applied arts, graphic design, illustration and for that matter architecture. And though it can provide a living teaching generally kills an artist's spirit. Keeping it all together and finding a balance can be a lifelong struggle. That's why most rational people give up. The crisis never comes to a close. As you get older and nearer your own demise you just don't care all that much.


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