thoughts on authenticity, part 1

April 22, 2010

Although I haven't watched American Idol in a few years, I've been sucked into watching it regularly this season. The other week, the judges were talking about how important it was for the contestants to connect to what they were singing. When you are able to connect to what you sing, people feel it. And when you don't, the performance tends to fall flat.

I think this can be true of any art form. And I think another way to describe connecting to what you express would be authenticity...the idea that what you're expressing is  really coming from an inner place in your soul, as opposed to just being a facade. Because a facade, even if it's a well-executed one, doesn't tend to have the emotional impact that a truer expression does.

So for this reason, one of my favorite Idol contestants this season is Siobhan. I think she has a true artist's soul. Every time the judges criticize her, she responds with clear reasons as to why she chose the song, her feelings about it, etc. She is definitely not trying to fit a formula or be who they want her to be. She has this inner compulsion to march to the beat of her own drummer and be authentic, even if it doesn't fit a typical Hollywood commercialized category. I think I am wired this way as well. I feel more integrity when I express what is longing to be expressed, then when I modify it or contain it to get it to either make more money, appeal to more people, or whatever. For me, purity of expression means the most. Everything else falls somewhere farther down on the hierarchy. It's helpful to realize this as I progress, because I think it will help guide my future decisions about what kind of art to make, where to show it, and how to keep pursuing it.

One comment on “thoughts on authenticity, part 1”

  1. I read your "thoughts on asuthenticity, part 1" today. You wrote, "For me, paurity of expression means the most." I think you summarized your thoughts real well in that one sentence. I see a unique quality in all your art pieces, the kind of feelings yet different feelings I had when I was at the well known and very famous artists' t exhibitions. I don't know how to explain that feeling. Something mystic, unclear, there is a message but I can't put my finger on it, calm but playful, revealing but hiding, almost like I can hear what you are trying to say but can't get it exactly,.... See, I can't explain my feelings clearly. I don't know what I feel in front of your art pieces is what I or anyone else suppose to feel and think. I love art but I don't understand the artists' minds and emotions. Well, I better stop here because I don't think I am making any sense. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Please keep chanllenging me through your art. Love, Katy

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