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Personal Self and Values vs. Social Approval

20x60 Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper

“Island” 20×60 Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper

Which is more important to you in your art creations, your own personal self and values, or social approval of what you are creating?

If you have the liberty to be yourself in a group are you then free? Can you then create something that others would have never thought of and feel good about it?  Or do you need others to approve of what you have done?  Is it important that others approve of what you have done? Can you and your work be part of a collective and still at the same time by you, it be? If you are free – are you never alone or are you always alone?  Can you be free and still be within a group? I answer these question this way; yes you always have the liberty to choose to create what ever it is you want to – yes you can be free and still function within a group a collective.   The key for me , when answering these questions, is to recognize the power the group has and to make sure that it doesn’t feed off my power, my energy to survive as a collective, to make sure that in the midst of it all I maintain my power my liberty my freedom to visually speak.

How have others tackled these questions?  I have been researching the history surrounding the philosophical theory of a  social contract.  As always I approach my research with the visual arts as my focus.  We have all heard others say “art is an expression of myself.”  Who cares what others think?  But is the self when creating a work of art really belong to the artist or does it belong to others who have created the notion, the idea of what an artist should be?  Yes we need a basic understanding of what is a work of art, and what is not, so I will begin my posts there.

How do I think of art as it relates to a social contract? To free visual speech?

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