Thursday, January 28, 2010

Once artwork leaves the studio...

Where will they end up?

"LIC 1889/1989
Oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches

Artists often refer to their paintings as their "children". After all, the painter spends time thinking about them, helping them come to life and grow on the canvas brushstroke by brushstroke and finally finishing them, ushering them into "adulthood". Then it is time to leave the studio and go out into the world. Exhibiting them in shows, sometimes winning an award or two. And then hopefully, making the sale that sends them to a new home. Once that happens, the artist pretty much loses track of them, becoming immersed with the work currently on the easel.

Occasionally these paintings do surface again, sometimes years later. This happened the other day when I chanced upon a listing on Craig's List offering this painting for sale. It is a view from my studio window as I watched the Citicorp building in Long Island City under construction. This was back in the late 1980's and the building in the foreground had been built in 1889. The painting epitomized the change in a neighborhood over a century of time. It had been sold a number of years ago as a corporate sale through a consultant. Now it seems this company is moving their office and selling artworks. I'm hoping it finds a good home. I did contact the owner and asked that I be informed, if possible, as to where the painting ends up. But, like a wayward child, it might never call home, letting me know where it is.

That got me to thinking, as I suspect many artists do, as to what happens to their work once they are gone. Paintings can survive for years if they were created with good materials and properly cared for, long outliving their creators. It is the artist's way of leaving a lasting legacy, the "I was here" statement. The vast majority of working artists today will fall into obscurity at some point, but sometimes their works live on. I hope some of my paintings do.


regina said...

I wish you would post a link to the Craig's list ad.

Frankly, as a returning resident of LIC, I might be interested in buying it.

SJF said...

Hi Regina, here's the link

SJF said...

I will also add that I have a number of LIC-themed paintings on my website as well,

Anonymous said...

I love what you say about your art work disappearing, and you never know what happened to it. Art is like a child - you make it, it is part of you, and then sometimes this part of you goes away for good. Art is a concrete manifestation of my existence. Love the blog. Deb