The Selflessly Devoted Artist Are Artists Reward-Oriented?
Alex considers himself a selfless and autonomous fine artist, but some
years ago something happened that made him rethink his position.
Alex always works with a model. He asks the model to look him in the eyes
while the model is sitting. This is an intense experience for both of them.
Alex does his best to record the experience in his drawings. While he is
drawing, the model's feelings and judgments seem to be reflected in the
model's eyes. However, Alex gradually discovered that he was also pro
jecting his own feelings onto his model. The model's eyes can turn into the
eyes of people Alex has known. Quite often, it's his father looking at him
through the model's eyes. What is brought into the drawing is a mixture of
the model, Alex and the people Alex carries inside him. In this short-term
symbiotic relationship the model and Alex fuse. There is nothing peculiar
about this symbiosis. It is Alex's little artistic trick; other artists have their
However, a few years ago, while Alex was drawing in this way, he had a
unique experience that relates to the present topic. Alex was drawing a
model who was also an art student. Before they began, they chatted awhile
and it turned out that the model knew a lot about drawing. Alex also got the
impression that this model was not pleased with Alex's intuitive drawing
style. His interests were more conceptual. Alex started to draw him. The
model's eyes gradually changed into those of Alex's condemning father.
And then something unexpected happened. Alex realized that it was no
longer his father looking at him but Rudi Fuchs, the director of the Stedelijk,
the most prestigious museum of modern art in the Netherlands. His eyes
certainly were not approving of what Alex had drawn thus far. (Alex cannot
remember what became of this particular drawing, which probably means
it did not turn out to his liking.)
This was a shock to Alex. It gave him an uncanny awareness of his limited
autonomy. Since then he has come to the realization that all the time he
thought he was alone in his studio with his model, there were actually many
people present looking over his shoulder. Apart from Mr. Fuchs, there were