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“I am not an artist, I make art”: amateurish artists in Israel and the sense of creativity

    Shahar Marnin-Distelfeld Affiliation
    ; Uri Dorchin Affiliation

Abstract

This study deals with self-taught visual artists who are considered “amateurish” by the establishment of the Memorial Center in Kiryat Tiv’on, Israel, where they have exhibit their artwork. We will try to figure out both the explicit and implicit characteristics of “amateurish” artists, and challenge the supposed linkage between amateurism and lack of creativity. The methodology applied combines a sociological point of view, drawing on in-depth interviews with the artists, along with a visual analysis of the artwork produced. The theory of “modest” artists, by Marie Buscatto, and the theory of serious leisure perspective by Robert A. Stebbins, will contribute supportive classifications and categories for the analysis. We claim that the artists of our study are located on an axis between “amateurish” and “professional” within a fluid area of “serious leisure”. They are regarded as “amateurish” due to their lack of academic background in the arts, their relatively old age, having encountered lack of official recognition, having come across various obstacles in displaying their art and having received low remunerations. Aside from their marginal position in the art field, we were able to detect a few characteristics that distinguish their artwork from that of “professionals”. Our findings prove them to constitute an in-between category of “modest” or “serious-leisure-amateurish” artists, which blurs the dichotomy between “amateurish” and “professional” artists imposed by the establishment. We found these “modest” artists’ experiences to be creative, as well as some of their artwork; nevertheless, this kind of creativity seems to be disregarded by the establishment which perceives creativity as innovation.


Santrauka


Šis tyrimas susijęs su savamoksliais vizualiųjų menų kūrėjais, kurie vertinami kaip „mėgėjai“, Kirijat Tivone (Izraelis) įkūrus memorialinį centrą, kuriame jie eksponuoja savuosius meno kūrinius. Pabandysime išsiaiškinti tiek tikslias, tiek tik numanomas menininkų „mėgėjų“ charakteristikas bei užginčyti spėjamą mėgėjiškumo ir kūrybiškumo stokos sąsają. Taikoma metodologija apima sociologinį požiūrio tašką, remiantis išsamiais interviu su menininkais, taip pat meno kūrinio vizualinę analizę. „Kuklių“ menininkų teorija, kurią išplėtojo Marie Buscatto, ir rimtojo laisvalaikio perspektyva, kurią suformulavo Robertas A. Stebbinsas, padės analizei ją paremiančiomis klasifikacijomis ir kategorijomis. Tvirtiname, kad mūsų tiriamų menininkų vieta yra ties „mėgėjiškumo“ ir „profesionalumo“ ašimi, takioje „rimtojo laisvalaikio“ zonoje. Jie laikomi „mėgėjais“ dėl akademinio išsilavinimo menų srityje stokos, santykinai vyresnio amžiaus, oficialaus pripažinimo nebuvimo, iškilusių įvairių kliūčių demonstruoti savuosius meno kūrinius ir už juos gaunamą nedidelį finansinį atlygį. Nepaisant jų užimamos periferinės pozicijos meno srityje, vis dėlto galėjome nustatyti keletą charakteristikų, kurios atskiria jų meno kūrinius nuo tų, kuriuos sukūrė „profesionalai“. Mūsų išvados įrodo, kad jie priklauso tarpinei „kuklių“ ar „rimtojo laisvalaikio mėgėjų“ menininkų kategorijai, kuri panaikina įsitvirtinusią menininkų „mėgėjų“ ir „profesionalų“ dichotomiją. Nustatėme, kad šių „kuklių“ menininkų patirtis yra kūrybinio pobūdžio kaip ir kai kurie jų meno kūriniai; vis dėlto šio pobūdžio kūrybiškumas, regis, yra ignoruojamas tų sričių profesionalų, kurie suvokia kūrybiškumą kaip inovaciją.


Reikšminiai žodžiai: mėgėjiškasis menas, menininkas mėgėjas, meno sritis, kūrybiškumas, profesionalus menininkas, vizualusis menas.

Keyword : amateurish art, amateurish artist, art field, creativity, professional artist, visual art, serious leisure

How to Cite
Marnin-Distelfeld, S., & Dorchin, U. (2020). “I am not an artist, I make art”: amateurish artists in Israel and the sense of creativity. Creativity Studies, 13(1), 64-86. https://doi.org/10.3846/cs.2020.9907
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Jan 13, 2020
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