I am an artist and I can prove it.

“It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.” – Gore Vidal (1925 – 2012).

I’ve been a closet artist for most of my life and suffered from what I recognise in many others: status anxiety.

This week, an artist friend of mine described the art world as being one of the most hostile environments she has ever experienced.

She’s right. Art is one thing, but the “world” of art is quite another, characterised by wilfull treachery, paranoid insecurity, competitive jealousy and schadenfreude.

I know artists who are undermined to the point of paralysis by the imagined terror that their work will not be received well, and that this might reduce their standing amongst their peers. They worry they have not read the right books, not referenced the coolest people, are not working in the most current medium or are not being seen in the right places.

Fuck that. To my mind there is only one solution to this impasse: publish, be damned, and take your chances in the shuttle.


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