The following quotes are collated from a series of interviews with contemporary artists whom I invite to each reflect on their personal history, meaning, and philosophy, and how those are embedded throughout their creative process.

In these interview extracts, artists answer the question, “what does authenticity mean to you?”


Willehad Eilers aka Wayne Horse

“To me, it means that I am not lying to myself or others about my work. It does not need complicated statements to be appreciated. One may like or dislike it. Both is fine.” 

That Loving Feeling, Wayne Horse

Gella Slabko

“Eastern mystics had the idea that the world must be born each time again and again and again, and it is created in the body or through the body. To be an authentic artist is to be born into the world through your own body whatever it is… wearing your own shoes on the way of the wanderer’s struggle to find himself.”

Self portrait as a pierrot, Gella Slabko

Philip Harris

“I think true authenticity to be honest is probably impossible, I’m not sure anyone would be able to recognize what we produced as art. What I personally mean by authenticity is that I am honest, the work reflects who I genuinely am, not who it would be convenient or financially prudent to be.

One aspect of ‘authenticity’ that I reflect on is that the work tends to represent the deeper more substantive elements of my personality rather than the more social or frivolous. For example, anyone who knows me from my sporting life outside of art will think of me as a lighthearted type who jokes a lot, but humour is pretty absent from my work. I find this interesting but can’t say I have any certainty about it’s meaning. Perhaps just that ‘I want to be taken seriously’ is a curse that many artists feel.”

Figure at Nightfall, Philip Harris

Ian Bertolucci

“For me, the idea of an artist is something more related to the perception that one has of the world, rather than to actually creating something. I believe that creating an artwork is not mandatory for an artist, their interpretation of the world is already art. So it may mean being able to tell a story. To have a presence, a voice. There’s many ways to do that.”

Miranda (Doll Part Series Ian et Jacques), Ian Bertolucci

Muito Kaballa Power Ensemble

“For me, this means not getting distracted by what you think others would want to hear. This is actually the hardest part about music and arts in general I think. I always tend to wonder and worry about how my music might be conceived, what people might think about my playing and stuff like that. I’ve been working on overcoming this for a while now, but I think there will always be a voice in my head telling me I have to be better, or that I have to play something very complicated to impress the audience or stuff like that. I think if you are really authentic and with yourself, this voice fades and these are the most musical moments – for me at least.

This is always the moment when I totally play what I feel, without thinking about what might be cool or what might be conceived in a certain way or so. In this mode, you can play only one note, but this one note comes really from within yourself and it just works… nothing is missing, because you are totally authentic and play what you have in your head – and your heart … you totally just use your own voice in that moment … These are the moments I always strive to reach when making music.”

Posted by:repsychl

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