Ceremonial cover, artist, maker unknown (image from here)
In my previous post I have not identified the individual pieces which I snapped in the Anthony Shaw Collection installation. While amongst them I had no need to know who had created them. They spoke for themselves, sometimes in loud singular voices, sometimes in dialogue or general conversation with their companions. They were alive with their own personalities, their own information; their own communications linking with elements in my observing and moving amongst them.
The other morning I read a powerful article by Deborah Orr in the Guardian newspaper about the 'unmasking' of the writer Elena Ferrante. I so agree with what Orr says therein, in general too about folks, women, not being allowed to be private. Why is it that if your work is much admired, bought and enjoyed by many, made famous, ... that you too must be made famous, poked, prodded, examined if that is not what you want?
I admit that I am curious about the making of work - including motivation, experience, inspiration contributing to the making - my curiosity stretches to wanting to know how what I have received from the work compares with the maker's intentions. But answers to my questions are not necessary for a good piece of work to speak for itself. Although the skills which made it are of legitimate interest for comment and examination (Deborah Orr herself has done so herself here and here, for example in relation to the work of Elena Ferrante), is it essential that we know everything about everybody who makes art?
I sometimes think that pieces of art are 'ticked off' as the work of the famous X or Y without being looked at closely for themselves. It is often advantageous to know about the maker of a piece one admires - maybe even more advantageous to know about the maker of a piece one does not admire (?) - but that perhaps one should leave off too much knowledge about the maker before making a personal acquaintance with the work itself, if it is the work which demanded attention.
I would be interested to know what you think.