Friday, December 25, 2009

Fifteen minutes of fame arrive at the last second. . .

Something encouraging seems called for on Christmas Day. Did you see the widely reprinted piece about Carmen Herrera, the 94 year-old artist who finally achieved some measure of notoriety at age 89? (This is Untitled, 1958)

If you didn't see it, here's the short version: this Cuban-born artist had been painting seven decades, had several shows over the years at respected venues, but never really gained broad recognition or even sold any work (any!). And then, five years ago, collectors and art historians started to take notice. Her minimalist paintings with geometric designs are now hanging at the Tate Modern and MOMA, to name a few. The article is worth a few minutes.

So there's still time! I'm going to get to work now on one I can sell around 2046 or so.


  1. She puts Grandma Moses (discovered at the age of 78) in the shade!

  2. Yes, and the fact that she didn't get discouraged and give up just astounds me. You get the feeling from the article that she just had to paint and any recognition was not even on her radar at all.

  3. To me, that's the goal: to be inspired to create by the internal rewards. The joy, the release, the feeling of being your best self, in some way. Letting go of the desire for external reinforcement. So that recognition, when it comes, is for the work itself, and not a reflection of one's skill at marketing...

  4. Exactly, because I think when you start to work with your "audience" too much in mind, or in mind at all, it changes your work, and usually not for the good.