…Except that when the artist painted in obscurity his entire life in a small 8×8 foot studio and was therefore completely unknown his art cannot possibly become political or erotic or mystical. Unless his trove of thousands of paintings narrowly escape a dumpster when discovered upon his death. Because the order of his sister, who generously had supported him, that it should all go in the garbage was somehow strangely ignored by a cousin who was assisting with the clean-up.

Which miraculous Saving of the Art led to a curious close look by an art historian, who declared, “This wasn’t even a rediscovery. That connotes an artist who was once well known but has been forgotten in successive generations. This was an artist who was completely unknown.”

Which led to a monograph. And a gallery show at The Antiquorum Gallery in New York. And the bizarre reality that this artist’s work is suddenly making money after he has died. Which seems cruel. And sad. And unfortunate.

But is it?

Or do we somehow mistakenly think – if we are artists – that there should be some sort of discovery of, or remuneration for, our creative effort in our lifetime? van Gogh sold one painting when he was alive. If he had approached his life’s work as a financial goal he would have quit and done something else. Thankfully for us he didn’t.

And so, too, would have one Arthur Pinajian, whose name is now being mentioned alongside those of Gauguin and Cezanne.

Thankfully for us the strange coincidental existence of serendipity, curiosity, disobedience, rescue, art history and human interest in the creation of art.

I love the story of the discover of the art of Arthur Pinajian. And I post this today in honor of and support of the many, many visual artists on Google+, who I am sure wonder…

Is anyone noticing?

Does anyone care?

Does what I do matter?

When will my time come?

How long can I hang on to my dream?

When I am dead, will my family simply throw my life’s effort away?

…or cremate it with me out of respect for what I do, yet still somehow convinced it would never mean anything to subsequent generations…because they have no tangible proof of my talent?

To all of my fellow artists on Google+, whether of the visual or the word kind, I say, when you have these doubts, remember this:

“I don’t paint to live, I live to paint.” – Willem de Kooning