I haven’t had a good rant post in a while, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the act of signing artwork. More specifically: how the chic way to sign an artwork these days is to not sign at all. And I’ve thought a lot about why I sign my work, too. However, I’ve never really come up with a better answer than “it’s mine and therefore I should take credit for it.” This goes back to my feeling that we should be declarative in what we do. I don’t buy into this idea that “God gives me the ideas
.” I also don’t buy into the notion that someone should have to guess which work is mine. Regardless of where the idea came from, I created it and I should own it. That means I take the credit or the blame. So that’s why I sign my artwork. But I always kept hearing this idea of “removing the artist” or “letting the ego fly away” from the artwork as a reason for not signing. These ideas are just complete bullshit. Anyone with any fame at all has created sufficient works that are instantly recognizable. The artist who fits into this category doesn’t need to worry about someone needing to see his or name on the piece. Anyone with a reasonable education can determine this (Marcel Duchamp and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven exempted
). And that’s fantastic for him or her, except that it is absolutely more egotistical to be recognized without a signature. Without a signature, the artist is relying on other people knowing who he or she is. That’s
ego. That’s me walking into a room and not needing to introduce myself because I assume everyone already knows.
I still don’t have a better answer for signing than my position above about owning one’s work. However, I can safely cross out the notion that ego plays a part in it. Of course I want people to know my work, but more importantly I want to stand for what I’ve done