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Are Muralists Victims of Profiling

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Art-Faux Designs Inc 239 417 1888

I was asked recently via Email if I get a lot of commissions from my faux finishing seminars

and in my reply I said

“Well, it really depends on what you call “a lot” these days, but in my opinion no, not really”, and in response the person asked me

“Then why do you do them?”

I couldn’t wait to answer the question

The seminars usually go very well and I have been doing these seminars on a regular basis for the last few years. I am doing these for all of us Muralists/Decorative Artists to show the art critics that we as muralists and decorative artists are as much of a fine artist as those who only paint on canvas. I also wanted to bring public awareness to the fact of how much we must know and practice because we paint  on a much larger scale than most fine artists do. It just upsets me that most art critics don’t consider what we do as fine art, but yet when you talk to them about artists such as Michelangelo, Tiepolo or even Leonardo DaVinci and the study of geometry and perspective the attitude changes, which in my opinion these great artists amongst many others who where muralists and decorative artists as well as fine artists.

Now I am not comparing myself or anyone else to these masters but,

I have seen many talented decorative artists get shot down in the fine art world because of being “labeled” by critics as “craftsmen” and never reaching the “Fine Artist” category because of the mindset of “Oh no, not another one” when it comes to submitting our own canvas art to a gallery, art competition, or even an art show which means we have to work twice as hard to convince them that we do know what we are doing, well at least most of us who have dedicated their whole lives to the art form anyway. I know a couple of muralists/decorative artists that have been painting under another name because of getting shot down and now they currently have canvas pieces in fine art galleries today. There is a word that comes to my mind that I dare to use for the purpose of bringing attention to this article in hopes it will get the attention of people who genuinely follow the arts? Can you say profiling?

Sad but true that even in a field that is as honorable as the arts that such a negative word as “profiling” could exist but it does. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with race or religion but the meaning is the same I mean I call it as I see it.

Most artists struggle their whole lives with trying to be successful with their chosen way of life and some wouldn’t know of any other way because the passion of being creative is so over powering that it literally takes over your life. I for one can’t seem to get enough of it which is why I am always looking into “untraveled” art forms. Sometimes when I find something “new” I will spend hours if not days researching the subject which is one of the reasons why I never have a clock in my studio. When I am in my studio this is my place of solitude. A place where I can “turn off” all of the problems of today and just paint,  write,  read what ever the case may be.

Anyway, I know I have probably opened up a can of worms by making this statement and it is a rather a harsh word but when you really think about it, it is what it is and I would like to think that if during my seminars I can get just one person to understand that we as muralists and decorative artists are in fact fine artist as well, then maybe one day the critics, gallery owners and who ever else comes from this kind of mindset will accept the quality of our talents and not be so quick to shoot us down as artists when we try to submit our own canvas works to be juried. In some cases you will never make it through the front door if you tell them your a muralist, faux finisher, faux painter, decorative artist. But then why would you tell anyone your a Fake Artist or False painter to begin with?

Need I say more?

So whats your opinion?

Are Muralists/Decorative Artists Victims of Profiling?

2 thoughts on “Are Muralists Victims of Profiling”

  1. Hi, Art

    Good article…but maybe too short:-) There’s so much to say about this but in a nutshell, I would agree that muralists tend to not be thought of as highly as so-called ‘fine artists. Or…so I thought, which implies that maybe I’m not so sure if that’s true. The reason I say that is because if you think about the range of talent for both muralists and ‘fine artists’, you’ll see that the quality of work in both cases goes from really bad to outstanding, (art being in the eye of the beholder goes without saying). So both fine artists and muralists have gotten recognition and fame and not always because they were ‘good craftsmen’. OTOH, if you want to compare say…a large painting done by an established fine artist to a mural of the same size done by umm…well, a muralist, my guess is that more times than not, the mural will not be thought as valuable. Doesn’t matter if it’s done on canvas or a wall.

    I think that there’s another part to this that has something to do with how decorative artists are perceived by ‘critics’. And that is that we are ‘for hire’. Most times we paint what is in the head of our clients, as opposed to being allowed to just paint what we want. I’ve had the luxury of being allowed to do that a few times, but mostly I’m hired for my style.

    I’ve often thought that the grass might be greener over there in ‘fine artist’ land where they paint what they feel like painting and then someone sees it, likes it and then buys it. But how many artists can do that?

    Another thing that I think diminishes our standing is that typically, we are hired before the artwork is even started and so it’s only AFTER we finish do the clients have a chance to either like it or not. You know as well as I do that there’s a ton of bad murals and faux work out there and it all give the decorative artist a bad name at worst.

    Just my 2 cents….actually….that was only 1.25 cents…I have a lot more to say but I have work to do:-)

    • Skip my friend what a terrific response. Feel free to add to this if you have more. I have always valued your opinion and would like to hear more when you get time. I thought the article was to short myself and could have turned this into a 2500 word post very easily by continuing on the same path for which you talk about in your response. The part about “You know as well as I do that there’s a ton of bad murals and faux work out there and it all give the decorative artist a bad name at worst.” this is a huge problem for our market because we have to work twice as hard to establish the trust of our new client because of the bad experience that they encountered with someone else. As far as the “grass being greener” I’m not so sure and never really thought of it that way but I have thought of it as a kind of a passive income to help with a retirement plan which I have been looking into being that I find it getting harder to climb the scaffolds and ladders with every approaching year lol
      Once again thank you for your response and like I said feel free to add more to this or if you like I would be glad to have you as a guest writer here.

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