A good curator trusts the process, a great curator encourages and reifies it.
In painting there are broadly speaking three processes:
- Inspiration: the research, sketches, image collection, experiences, travel. This is as individual and unique as the artists are themselves.
- Production: what happens with the paint in a space whether on canvas, a wall or whatever.
- Installation: bringing that product out of the studio into a shared context.
Before when monarchs and municipalities decided and acted as the inspiration, they also took care of the installation: me on the horse goes in the main reception room, my wife as the Virgin Mary goes in the Chapel and my mistress as Venus in my private study.
The art market does act in a similar way and what separates painters and artists becomes increasingly subjective and conceptual. As painters we need to remain conscious of our processes and work hard not just on them but on communicating them (read that sentence again with Bob Ross’ drawl).
Sometimes, I think of paintings in terms of Graffiti: there is a lot of it, a lot of amateurs doing it and not all of it is good. What is bad quickly becomes the undercoats for those who are inspired and this work remains for as long as it is meaningful to the public.
So engage with your process and cut anyone who doesn’t care for them out of those processes.