All Artists Need Tenacity of Spirit/ I’ve Been Making Art for Thirty Years and Spent Over 100k and Have Only Made About $1000

Essay by Luke Foster

“What I am really concerned about is what art is supposed to be – and can become. In art, the only one who really knows whether what you’ve done is honest is the artist.”

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman its ok to be on the edges

My life hasn’t been easy that’s for sure but it’s never been boring.

I feel like a failure as an artist a lot as mum thought I wasted money on materials and exhibitions because I didn’t make money but she supported me one hundred percent in my international trip once a year. Also, I’ve only sold a few artworks and my peers have made lots of money from art school.

I don’t know why I didn’t give up as an artist is just kind of like running a little business and I’ve been running at a huge loss for decades.

I’m not begging for people to buy my art and books but it would help my self-confidence a lot and my charity work if I could get off my pension which is basically social security benefits for people so dysfunctional that they can only do a few half days a week in supported work environments at best which are tedious and boring for me as I am intelligent and just wanted to focus on my art and writing but even when I was doing that for decades I was mainly doing solo shows at least once a year. I did that for over ten years?

“To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom.” …

Joseph Beuys 

Joseph Beuys was fantastic but I just don’t like that he chain, smoked and drank a lot.

‘Making art is at the bottom of the scale. This is the only legitimate reason to see artists as so many artists see themselves – as ‘workers’. At the same time, artists/makers tend to feel misunderstood and, as creators, innately superior to the buyers/owners.”

Lucy Lippard

Lucy Lippard

I love this quote by the feminist author Lucy Lippard and read her book about female environmental artists in art school called Overlay.

At art school one of my favourite artists was Eva Hesse and she made very meditative environmental art and about female sexuality.

“Art is the easiest thing in my life, and that’s ironic. It doesn’t mean I’ve worked little on it, but it’s the only thing I never had to… I have no fear. I could take risks.”

Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse

In conclusion I am hoping to sell a few of my best works eventually and some books to cover my living costs and pay for postage to world leaders and museums occasionally. I don’t know why my books and art don’t sell as I know that a few people know who I am now so I am a little cranky and frustrated today. I think my book is very good and my art museum quality. I hope no one holds my career back as I’m bit over living on a shoe string budget of savings and a little pension. However, I am also grateful for my pension and NDIS which is support for people with a disability and think it is the biggest break-through in Australia since Medicare.


New collage from a few days ago