Why Father’s Day reminds me of the importance of ART
My father was a quiet man. An early immigrant from Russia, he came here as many Jews did, seeking the freedom and independence that America was known for. Eventually, he became a successful business person, establishing the first jewelry store in a young, new city called Beverly Hills. He was loved by all. He was kind and generous and treated important movie stars and store clerks with the same respect…he never discussed his politics. He lived through the extreme consequences that would be felt by disagreeing with a powerful regime, much like what Syria is going through today and kept his political opinions to himself. But, he made sure that his family knew what his core values were–compassion for your fellow man, family love, faith in a higher power, confidence to dream the impossible and the courage to go after it.
When I was hit by the lightning bolt of art, I was 16. I didn’t know how or why it was to become an important part of my life, I just knew. My father saw it and encouraged it at every turn. Even though he knew nothing about art, he was one of the most creative people I ever knew. As many of my ArtAdvice articles discuss, I believe artists are born with the need to create. It’s not just a need…it is a requirement…an itch that has to be scratched. Depriving an artist of the ability to create is like depriving them of oxygen. I like to believe even though I am not an artist, I think like one. I am proud to have pioneered the field of professional practices for artists. In 1979, when I started my business, the concept of artists’ marketing didn’t exist. Today, there are opportunities everywhere for artists to get educated, hire advisors, get the help they need to learn how to help themselves. At 62, it gives me a tremendous sense of pride to have been in the forefront of that movement.
I have been blessed to work in a field that I can honestly say doesn’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life. After over 30 years in business I feel I’ve earned the right to speak out when something is important to me. Such is the case with the upcoming elections. (Please stop reading now if you will be offended by my support of Obama) I am proud to have organized our current exhibition 12 for 2012, inviting 12 nationally recognized artists to donate work, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Obama Victory Fund. Art and politics have been intertwined for thousands of years…art is the reason why we can endure politics, and LIFE. If you disagree with my political beliefs or religious views, at least we know that ART is our common language. It is the glue that holds our civilization together, keeps us all sane.
It is with great sadness and some confusion, perhaps naivete, that I was surprised at the vitriol my last email blast generated. Yes, I support Obama, yes I am doing a fundraising auction for his reelection and yes, I have lost a lot of clients, customers and email subscribers because of it. I respect your right to have a different opinion. However, I will not stand down. I love the person I am today and have no regrets. I attribute much of who I am to my dad. I think he would be proud. Happy Father’s Day.