I got an email from a fellow artist today and have learned that he is suffering from A. A. S., a potentially fatal condition. After chatting with him for a time, he explained his malady further and stated that the experts report a staggering "nine out of ten artists" world-wide suffer from this condition. While I was not completely shocked, I was somewhat awed by the sheer numbers. You may ask yourself why these statistics do not shock me. Because I live with A. A. S. daily and know many artists who suffer along with me in silence. As my title suggests, this is not a new affliction. Vincent van Gogh also suffered from A. A. S. and, sadly, died before he could be cured.
Anonymous Artist Syndrome (A. A. S.) affects us all ... many talented artists struggle in anonymity in a dark corner of the art world while the spotlight shines brightly upon the artist whose work is deemed the "Art Fad du Jour". What does it say to the artist toiling away unnoticed creating outstanding art when the best galleries clamor to represent works that are often comprised of dissected animals or feces thrown at a canvas? What message does it send to the A. A. S. sufferer when they see wealthy patrons trampling each other to buy a canvas covered with feces yet dismiss our works as not being "cutting edge"? You can help to alleviate this condition. You may ask yourself, how can I help ... I’m not a wealthy art patron. Here are ways in which you can help:
1. Support artists whose work you appreciate; attend their shows, purchase their art (buy prints if you cannot afford originals), make your appreciation known to the artist (they love to hear that others enjoy their work), and tell others about how much you like the artist (tell your family, friends and colleagues about your "discovery").
2. Speak up! When others are tittering about the great new dung show at the (insert NYC Gallery here) let them know that this hubbub is just an illusion ... that its all carefully crafted hype. Its like the old fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes, someone has to be strong enough to stand up and say ... "dude, you’re naked!"
Let’s all work together to stamp out A. A. S. in our communities and eradicate this horrible disease! If I happen to be an artist whose work you appreciate, I’d love to hear from you and would be pleased if you would pass my name (and URL) forward to your family, friends and colleagues. And if you’d really like to stop A. A. S. in it’s tracks, you can purchase affordable prints in various sizes of my works here: http://fineartamerica.com/shop/dede-sorensen.html