Artist Greggy...Musings and Yik-Yak

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08/31/2004
Entry: "Ahhh..."

Hello family, what's coming down in your world? Not much here...had another crazy dream like the one I talked about in an earlier blog, but didn't quite grasp it much except it left me troubled...Oh well, time to flow on, shall we? I took a little creative break away from my blog for about a week to focus on some art vibes I was feeling instead of the usual mindless yik-yak I spew out on my blog. I added a few new images to my mini-gallery link too so check a flow out when you get a moment, yes? Other than that, notta lotta gotta holla....Oh, on second thought...

Help me to understand sum’, my dear friends..
The following is a brief conversation between me and "Person A"
(Person A is commenting to me about my artwork after viewing my website for the first time)

Person A: You have a very nice website.
Me: Thank you, it took a lot of hard work.

Person A: Who did the artwork on your site?
Me: *dead* Uh..I did. The name says it all (chuckling)

Person A: *about 5 seconds of silence*You drew that? *with doubting tone*
Me: Yeah...(knowing where this is going) Yep I draw all my stuff. It's digital art that I draw on the PC.

Person A: *another 5 seconds of silence* Do you do Black art?
Me: Black art? What is that?

Person A: Black Art. You know, art that black people buy.
Me: You tell me what kind of art that black people buy because I don't know.

Person A: *feeling nervous that their ignorance showed* I didn't mean anything by that, I was just saying that none of your pieces of art can be called ethnic art or black art...
Me: *feeling a bit defensive* My friend, I do art according to what moves me, not by trying to appeal to a certain group of people. Art is universal, it is the universal language, there is no such thing as black art or white art in my book. There may be certain styles or types of artwork that may appeal to one group or another but to label it as black art or white art for that matter is silly. So what are you saying, that my art isn't "black" enough?

Person A: *hurriedly* Oh no..no. You do wonderful art, and black people like your work, but as a 'black' artist, you don’t have..*pause*..
Me: *interrupting* Bye A.

Person A: (??? look on face)
Me: *more forcefully* Bye, perhaps another time another place….(ending conversation)

Now my brothers and sisters, help me to understand that convo...particularly whether or not you share that view also. Is there such a thing as Black art? Or White art? What is ethnic art? Was I wrong to get all defensive over being accused of not being more "ethnic" in my art? As if that is something that I can turn on and off...whatever that is.

Have a great week!

Replies:
8 brothers and sisters helped me to understand.


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on Wednesday, September 1st, 2004 @ 08:52 PM EST
Meadow said

"But you're black!" (Lethal Weapon 2 quote, if you saw the movie you know how to say it razz )
I've no idea why someone would say that to you, do white artists get asked if their art is white enough? I think being a white woman hehe that it was an attempt to sound artsy that failed. You art is creations/pictures that speak to the soul, there is a lot of mood and undulations in your peices that radiate out. I don't think the choice of having a darker skin tone in a creation would limit its appeal to just that ethnicity.
I am thrilling to the way you have done the rays of the sun in your latest "Magma Lake" is the lava flow a reflection of your inner tension from dealing with the lame attempts of nonartsy folks to connect with you? I am feeling the heat, YIKES!

Well my first impression was that I was dealing with an ignint person, but after reading the different views of my commentors, I kinda feel that perhaps a different outlook on the situation might be had...Some folk just can't help it if they ignint, so therefore I accept their ignintacity and move the heck on...LMAO...have a safe holiday!...G

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on Wednesday, September 1st, 2004 @ 04:50 PM EST
Frank said

What's happening Mr. Greggy? Well, as a fellow artist I'll simply say that I've been where you are. And I won't lie to you and say that every inch of my being wasn't itching to get in dat azz. But that's the reflex action in me because I'm passionate about my work.

The reality is, unfortunately it seems as though everything in this life is given titles. My Black friend, urban market, black movies, black art. It's the nature of the beast. This same question was asked to a director once when he was asked why does he only make "black" movies? Does Spike Lee only make black movies? I say no. 25th hour had no black people in it, but it was made by a prominent black director. So, what would've made it black. Would it be a clean sweep of the key positions to the creation of the movie such as the cast, director, the writer, and the producer are all black? It gets tricky. I think that "A" may not have meant any harm, but merely going by programmed thinking. Instead of some folks taking the time to "think" for themselves, they'll spew out the first thing that their programmed mind associates with your work. And that's "labeling" it as black art.

It's a gray area, but the question was probably not meant to offend. But I feel your pain my brotha. Welcome back!

Exactly...perhaps we all do that unconciously when we first meet people or are exposed to something for the first time. I do understand however how some attempt to box you into some pre-defined area in order to minimize your work though. Me, by virtue of being a "black artist" will always have my work viewed through that magnifying glass by default. Such is life, I guess...no sweating here...~peace~...G

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on Wednesday, September 1st, 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST
Cheryl said

Oh Gawd, why do I have to be the different one?
You have wonderful art of yourself and of a few beautiful black women. I've seen it with my own eyes and are some of your most memorable pieces to me.
I think that you could have just shown her a few of your pieces with Black folks in them and that would have been the end of that.
I love ALL art if it says something, I don't keep art in a box. But if my friend asked me if I create Black art I think i'd know that she meant art with black folks in it, and you do create 'Black Art' Greggy. You are a Black man and your art comes from you and speaks about you. It has an attitude at times, it reflects peace of spirit and harmony with nature at other times. You also create abstract art and art for your piece of mind.
When our friends aren't computer artists, they don't know any better and hence "show their ignorance" by labeling. Be patient and try to see where they're coming from first.
I think she irritated you because you had to explain your art which is something you weren't prepared to do or wanted to do. Last night I showed some of my character art to my friend who was sitting right next to me. I had to explain it all to her, and explain why I have a website just for fun. This is someone who has had the same pc with the same components since 1997 or before. They just don't get it and aren't trying to be rude.
Haven't you ever gone to an art store and asked where the Black Art section is so you could see art of your people, by YOUR people? That's why I like your site and a few other sites that show ebony hues. It's something I can relate to. I get tired of seeing Britney Spears everywhere.
I agree with you that art is universal, but what you could have told her is that this IS Black art. This is art from the mind and soul of a Black Man. That's what 'Black Art' truly is.

(Okay, i'm stepping down from the podium.)satisfied

smile Thanks for sharing that insight Cheryl. Perhaps that could have been the case here. I guess the only reason I took it that way was because I know this person, it's not like we had just met, they were just viewing my art for the first time. So in a way I already had a "feel" for where they were coming from...p.s..(glad ya like my art..*grinning*)........G

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on Wednesday, September 1st, 2004 @ 12:21 AM EST
Nona said

big grin

Happy days are here again! I can finally view your site without crashing. yippee!!!

Um..Greggy. I feel you on the black art comment. Some stuff irks my nerves.

That would be one of them.

(grinzzzz) Actually Nona, I had you, along with a few other friends in mind when I decided to re-do my gallery. I clearly remember however, you telling me you were going to come up here to B-more and cut me if your system crashed again...LMAO. Greggy no like to be cut, hehehe...Really glad you can hang a bit longer now. What iks me about when folk make stoopid comments like that is that they can't see how or why a comment like that could be taken the way it was...*sigh* Have a good week!...G

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on Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 @ 09:23 PM EST
Art4SouL said

shocked Black or Whte art is she nuts. You were right in not letting her classify your work. You have a style all your own. Your work is beautiful Greggy. You continue to do you boy.

Actually you'd be surprised just how many people hold such narrow minded views concerning artists. Glad you like my flow too my friend, you have a good week...G

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on Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 @ 09:23 PM EST
France said

People amaze me! It's so sad that we are so easily placed in a box because of ethnicity or whatever. Like you said art is universal…..like music, poetry, etc...people create what comes to them & it's a beautiful thing! NO, you were certainly not wrong by getting defensive...and hopefully you enlightened someone who needed to be!

France! My goodness my friend! I think I was..what, 18 -19 years old the last time you came by my page?? LOL *sike* I know you've been incredibly bizzy and doing that thang so I'm just happy to hear from you! Yeah, hopefully they did get enlightened by that conversation. A brutha can't stand labels...G

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on Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 @ 08:08 PM EST
Raven said

Natures Jewels is all that Greg! I am in love with this one. lol. You do such wonderful art. Have a good week too! razz

(grinzzzz) Thanks Miss! I kinda dig it myself, but I'm biased towards my stuff anyway. Really appreciate your critique, but as you can see I am far more adept at artistic things than at writing stuff...Enjoy your week too!...G

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on Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 @ 01:02 PM EST
Ray G. said

I agree with you that art is a product of human creativity first. Any sub-category that folks want to explore is a matter of personal preference and perspective.

Keep on keeping on.

Peace.

Thanks for sharing that Ray. It sometimes amazes me how people try to automatically box me into some sort of pre-defined idea of what I should be or do with MY art...sheeesh, the nerb of 'em...G

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