Sunday, January 25, 2009

Late Bloomers


A recent article, passed along by a friend, written by Malcolm Gladwell
(The Tipping Point), illuminates this idea that some artists are 
fiercely direct and quick with their art. No experimentation, no 
search- just an incandescent manifestation of work--Picasso. On 
the other hand, there are those, the "late bloomers" (me too) that 
sort of grope our way along. Never really sure, but trial and error, 
and repeated mistakes eventually lead to some clarification, some results.
Gladwell asserts that Cezanne was one of these types. Never satisfied, 
persistently frustrated, although steadily getting better over the course 
of his life. The story goes that when Ambrose Vollard, the sponser of 
Cezanne's first one man show, at age 56, hunted down Cezanne in Aix 
"He spotted a still life in a tree, where it had been flung by 
Cezanne in disgust."Gladwell emphasizes the vital importance that 
the outside patrons , friends, family etc. are for the survival of these 
kind of "late bloomers" I have a hunch this is true for most artists. 
How many times has a friend said "I love this!" as they pull a painting 
out of the garbage can, instantly redeeming it to one of your recent 
favorites.  The article ends "We'd like to think that mundane matters 
like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing 
checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with 
something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything 
but rarefied; sometimes it's just the thing that emerges after 
twenty years of working at your kitchen table"


5 comments:

Suzanne Lewis said...

That is so true. What would we do without those friends and support system. Wanted to tell you that I was in a really nice housewares store the other day, looked up and saw what I knew was a small Wilton, sure enough there were three lined up on a shelf! Then I realized they were those trays you guys were excited about marketing a few years ago. They looked really great and affordable!

Nicholas Wilton said...

HI Suzanne! that's fun--you never know where a wilton will show up next....thanks for staying in touch...cheers, Nick

Diane McGregor said...

Nicholas, thanks for this post. I googled the article (from the New Yorker). It's fantastic, thanks for pointing the way. Makes me feel better since I'll be turning 51 next Sunday!

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