Art And Ego
Recently I have been reading a very interesting book titled "Thinking, Fast and Slow". It was written by Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on human behavior and decision-making as it relates to economic choices. Mr. Kahneman is not an economist, but is a very close observer of human nature, who poses and tries to answer many questions about why and how we make certain choices in all aspects of our lives. In his book, he notes that optimism and confidence - even overconfidence - are important characteristics of research scientists. He states, " I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing, and I believe that someone who lacks a delusional sense of significance will wilt in the face of repeated experiences of multiple small failures and rare successes..."
This assertion resonated with me, for it reminded me of similar behaviors found in most artists. Art is a career that is fraught with economic uncertainty, and frequently meets with meager acclaim and slender financial rewards. Accordingly, artists must have a strong sense of purpose, and a strong ego to support their endeavors, They must believe that what they do is so important that it supersedes any other pursuit, and must be able to continue on their path despite the understanding that most other jobs offer more money and greater stability. For this reason, the study of art is for many a calling, and not a career in a traditional sense. That is certainly the case for me. Investigation, uncertainty, failure, striving, and restlessness are all married to the practice of art. In my case, all of these apply, and push me in a search for elusive Beauty, a quality which is easier recognized than produced. I would not have it any other way.
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I am a San Francisco artist who enjoys making art and visiting art exhibits.