Here’s something to remember, the next time someone criticises your art or work.
Andy Warhol’s signature work, Campbell’s Soup Cans, hangs on the walls of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It’s their most prized possession.
They were gifted the art by Warhol’s friend Irving Blum, paying him just $15MILLION for it — that was 10% of it’s $150MILLION valuation. It’s worth even more today!
Compare that, with the rejection letter that same museum sent Andy Warhol, when he offered one of is artworks to the museum for free. See below:
Dear Mr. Warhol,
Last week our Committee on the Museum Collections held its first meeting of the fall season and had a chance to study your drawing entitled Shoe which you so generously offered as a gift to the Museum.
I regret that I must report to you that the Committee decided, after careful consideration, that they ought not to accept it for our Collection.
Let me explain that because of our severely limited gallery and storage space we must turn down many gifts offered, since we feel it is not fair to accept as a gift a work which may be shown only infrequently.
Nevertheless, the Committee has asked me to pass on to you their thanks for your generous expression of interest in our Collection.
Alfred H. Barr, Jr
Director of the Museum Collections
P.S. The drawing may be picked up from the Museum at your convenience.
The letter has been confirmed by MOMA to be authentic.
Why such an about turn?
Andy Warhol’s art was just as amazing when The Museum of Modern Art asked him to take it away, as it was when they were prepared to pay millions for it. What changed was public perception of Warhol’s work. That shift happened because he kept creating amazing work. He carried on, regardless of the rejection and abuse. Eventually, others were able to see what Warhol knew all along.
Had Warhol allowed the rejection to stop him from creating, the world would have been robbed of one of its most influential artists.
Not only is rejection to be expected, it’s almost always what happens when people produce great art.
In other words, the rejection that so many artists fear, is an inevitable part of creating great work. When there’s no rejection and no criticism, it means your art is predictable. It means you’re colouring between the lines.
Embrace rejection and see it for what it is
Never let rejection or criticism stand between you and your art. If you believe in what you’re doing, do it. If YOU see the value of your work, keep on creating.
Never, ever allow the opinion of another, to stop you from creating your art.
Image credit: Museum of Modern Art.