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the masters

by bogdantiganov 

Posted: 16 July 2004
Word Count: 433

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The masters had a mystery about them. They could do things nobody else could. And they were not ordinary. They didn't eat pennysweets and they didn't watch cartoons and they weren't for family dinners. They got drunk on absinthe, cut off ears, suicidal nutters but brilliant geniuses, communicating with deities, head down outcasts, opium lovers.

Also, the masters were masters because they had secrets. They'd mastered their craft and all the amateurs and kids and househusbands and housewives suffered in their pathetic attempts. These people could never be masters because they didn't know the secrets. They weren't dedicated enough. They weren't in tune with the supreme talent.

So when I started writing, painting and music-playing, I was in awe of the masters because they were removed from me, far off, untouchable. They were beyond normality, in fact, they'd mastered reality through their craft. And I never thought of becoming a master. I just had a go. But I was frightened of failure because failure meant I would join the regulars, the wannabes, the ones who'd tried but ultimately failed because they had no talent or because they weren't dedicated enough or because their parents and circumstances bullied them into doing what everyone else was doing.

That's why no compliment is ever good enough unless it comes from within. And that's why no accomplishment is high enough unless I feel like I've made a difference.

The masters...they weren't laughing like everyone else, they laughed in a serious manner. They were crazy bastards. Wild beasts. Crazy and wild were things I didn't really have to reach out for. And people always said I had talent even though I only did what came naturally. I preferred the pen to football, and sometimes football to the pen, but whatever it was I did it for a look beyond. That's the dreamer. That's the unsatisfied fool. Or is it just the human being who wants to find out what's really going on? Who am I and what am I about? What makes me tick? Don't categorise me with happiness or misery or love or hate or ambition or talent.

I didn't know I was on a path. And I wasn't. I was just trying to be me in a world where everybody wants to be someone else.

The masters...yes, they had style and guts, then again, in reality, they were probably copycat murderous cowards. There is no mystery behind masterworks. It's just people trying to kick some sense or nonsense into ordinary existence. Everybody has their own defintion of ordinary. The masters just smiled inviting you to learn.

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Comments by other Members

miffle at 11:39 on 17 July 2004  Report this post
Well, I personally am not sure that the idea of a hierarchy in art is actually helpful... Hmmm... I wonder how much 'good' art is created in a competitive environment?

And how do we define 'good' art (?): we can judge it by 'mastery of technique' for sure (and I guess that that's more than anything what I associate the phrase 'the masters' with) but essentially part of the beauty of art lies for me in its subjectivity... How can we judge a response?

Also, I think the idea of 'the masters' (implying as it does reverence) encourages people to 'copy' which seems to me a bit silly really when I believe each one of us is unique...

Last paragraph interesting... 'Everyone has their own definition of ordinary' / 'Everyone has their own definition of masterworks too' (?)


Regards, Miffle

NB also wondered what they had to sacrifice along the way...

bogdantiganov at 19:40 on 17 July 2004  Report this post
I am not talking about hierarchy in art.

The point of this piece is to show a growth in my thought process, from being wowed as a child by the so-called masters to realising that there's no great mystery about these people.

And yes you must copy in the beginning, because, otherwise, you would have no starting point.

Most masterworks are overrated in my opinion, boring too.

And sacrifices? Well, most artists sacrifice normality. Individual sacrifices for individual careers.

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