It takes a lot of chutzpah to be an artist, to labor over something in the privacy of your own studio and then unveil it to the world, expecting total strangers to pay attention—and maybe even love, purchase, and live with what you’ve created. While artists may talk fondly of the glories of failure—its unexpected silver linings, its teachable moments—they’re not too good at publicly expressing vulnerability and doubt. After all, success in the art world can often come down to how convincing and memorable one’s personal brand is; I’m Not Sure If This Is Actually Any Good™ doesn’t make for the most rousing slogan.
Yet how refreshing it is to walk into an exhibition and see this sort of wincing, wounded self-criticality on full display, without shame. How doubly refreshing it is—in an age when we’re asking tough questions about male privilege—when the artist happens to belong to a demographic that has, for so long, called all the shots and won all of the accolades.