The other element of painting large is finding a destination for the painting. Finding a place for it on one level is obvious: you sell it. Large works of art are luxury items so the field of buyers is more narrow than for many other commodities in the economy. Finding the right gallery representation and marketing the pictures to target audiences are new challenges that I begin tackling. In one sense, however, it is about more than sales.
Throughout history large works of art served specific purposes, sometimes the purposes were ones generated by the collector rather than the artist. The Church, for example, wanted large scenes depicting the stories of the Bible. Powerful rulers of city states wanted expressions of their authority. Today because of the visibility of large works in museums many artists are creating works (in some cases perhaps unknowingly) to go into museums. And creating art specifically for the museum environment is a fine ambition, but it does beg the question about how you get the picture accepted into the museum.
Because my paintings don’t fit into the contemporary museum culture, I need to find other venues. I think that part of the creativity of making large artworks involves that of discovering their proper destinations. In any case, at present, I am reorganizing my life so that at least some of the time the temporary destination can be on a wall in my own home. And that can be its way station on route to its other home.
We hear the old saying about not putting “the cart before the horse,” but truthfully when it comes to painting that’s exactly what you have to do. Without the cart, there’s really nothing for the horse to pull. Rather than carts and horses, it’s more a faith about “build it and they will come.” Before the painting can be some splendid thing on the wall … first you just gotta paint it.