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Culture & Religion

Why Artists Are Better Off Poor and Well Disciplined

For anybody struggling through a period of creative stagnation and caught against some sort of Proustian desire to develop a grand ‘idea’ for their art, the Irish painter, Guggi, has some telling advice…get over it, develop a strict routine, work with your instincts, and finish everything you start.

For Guggi, whose Big Think interview is available today, the wonder and challenge of art lies, not so much in the original idea behind the painting, but in how our imaginations are rendered onto the canvass through a combination of purpose, instinct, and a sheer ‘faith in the paint.’ The effect, if done right, isn’t a work that lends itself directly to analysis, but instead to a powerful and immediate sense of “Wow,” wherein nothing matters beyond the painting itself.

Guggi, who headed the Irish Goth/Post-Punk band The Virgin Prunes prior to becoming a painter full-time, also discussed the challenges of growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home in Ireland, explaining how he is able to maintain his faith by adopting a somewhat punk view of Christianity: keep the faith, but ignore religion, particularly its ‘branding’ techniques.

The painter, who grew up amid Ireland’s gray, pre-Celtic Tiger years, also looks into the somewhat adverse affects that prosperity has brought to his native land,  discussing the link between hard times and cultural richness in Irish history.


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