Vivian Maier and Understanding an Artist’s Desire to Hide Their Talent
Vivian Maier is an artist whose work was recently discovered. Many close to her did not know she was a photographer. Why did she hide her art? Who can say for certain, but as an artist who has struggled with expressing his own art, here is one perspective on why artists hide their talent.
To understand a true artist, you have to understand pain, you have to let it inside you. True artists are intuitive creatures, people who are so connected to the world that its pain is felt in their own soul. They are tortured and bear burdens no one should have to bear, because someone has to pay for the horrible things of life.
Yet, within that chasm lies an outstretched hand. It is a part of the artist that wishes to be seen, to be loved, to connect instead of self isolate.
True soulful artists are bound by a universally unwritten truth. If their work needs to be packaged and sold with a press kit attached in order to be felt and understood-they have failed.
For their work to be revered without needing to draw attention to it themselves is the highest compliment; to be discovered.
So, sadly, they hide their talents from the world, while somehow still hoping to be seen. If the world is lucky, it one day witnesses the expression of such a soul.
Personally, I believe it is the responsibility of the world to seek out artists, not artists to battle for the world’s attention. True art keeps our hearts alive and protects them from falling into numbness.
While we do not need art to survive, we most certainly need it to thrive.
So, while it may pain the artist, it is my true belief that pushing to witness their art is important, so they can feel some sense of discovery before they pass. If the opportunity for such understanding never comes, it would be good of us to do our best to understand the struggle an artist faces with exposing their own art to the world, and honor their work in the wake of their passing.
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