The day I left the Art World behind

Sharon Schurder

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I'm Sharon. Welcome to my world, where bold, luxurious statement art is filled with philosophy, psychology and mindset, wrapped up in a beautiful piece to make you stop and think.

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The Art World tells you things.

Painting in the fields – photo by @hadassa_stimler_photography

They tell you that to make it big, you need to starve and only become famous once dead.

To achieve greatness, you need to have a Masters in Fine Art from a prestigious art school and no other academic training will do.

To be considered a successful artist you must not become too commercial and pander to buyers wants, no licencing deals, no art on products, ideally no prints of your work unless they are limited edition or lithograph.

To really prove your status, your art needs to be shown in galleries (40-50% cut), exhibitions (40-50% cut) and Art Fairs (£500+ to join).

To leave a lasting legacy, you must create wild crazy art that shows the deepest depths of your soul, the more twisted the better.

I’m done.

Every time I immerse myself in the official Art World, I remember why I ran away to begin with. See I was in Art College already at the age of 16 thinking this would be my future.

But the environment just did not suit my value system. It felt at odds with my life. I was told I needed to fit in or get out.

So I left.

Compared to the Art World, the Banking sector seemed tame for me! I found the Art World flamboyant and extravagant and I couldn’t find my place.

No one believes me when I say that the world of Banking felt safer. I dove into my Banking International Finance degree and didn’t look back.

As I stepped into the VIP event tonight, I was struck by the arrogance and precociousness of the attendees. A stifled air hovered in the room. Raised eyebrows.

I learnt more about how to explain my art and why I paint, how to bring the un-informed viewer into my journey, in one hour then I could have learnt in many years. Beautiful art crashed to shreds when I met the artist and they snubbed me or spoke in dreamy language that meant nothing.

Why the snootiness? Why did they snub their noses? How can a newcomer, unfamilar with art but just connecting to the vibrancy of colour handle such an environment? How can a newcomer who just wants a pretty picture on their wall handle this? Why is true good art only available for the connoisseur?

When my eldest was stillborn in 2015, I turned to painting again to drown my tears. I focused on bold statement art to elevate my home. And then people wanted my paintings in their own homes too. I create bold luxurious art to make people stop and think. It is an honour.

But secretly I questioned why I had left the Art World behind. Until tonight. I attended this Exhibition and the memories came flooding back. I remembered why I had fled.

I have not been touched inappropriately in years. Yet here I was tonight in one of the most prestigious galleries in London, UK and an artist was putting his hands where they were not wanted. It’s 2021 and that same promisciousness that back in Art College was so valued and exalted in the art world, is still there. The claim is that being loose with thought and action encourages idea generation and freedom to create. And that is true to an extent. But I want no part of it.

I work in private banking. I know pretentious and arrogant. Yet the Art World surpasses even what the banking sector can’t achieve. That self assured confidence by the gallery owners riled me this evening.

Now of course there are plently of wonderful artists and galleries who respect the artists they represent. I guess anything that is based on perceived value rather than a market based on demand and supply will be slightly snobby and elitist.

I will make my own way and become a financially successful artist on my own terms. Staying true to my values and beliefs about life. Integrity, fun, kindness and curiosity. I will continue learning and growing.

I will bypass the official Art World. There are other artists marking their own territory and making their own way so I know this path has been trodden before. These artists may never make the history books but they will die having left a lasting legacy for their families and communities.

I had never regretted leaving the Art World behind back in 2006. But before tonight I didn’t know it was a must.

In 2006 I left the Art World and pursued a career in banking. All these years, I have tried to remember that feeling, why I walked away. When I restarted painting my main aim was to cracks into the illustrious Art World and make it so that I would be considered worthy of paintings being sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds. Tonight I left the Art World again.

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All Images are Copyright © All artwork is the sole property of Sharon Schurder Art Ltd and is held under copyright (even after purchase). The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Sharon Schurder. All images of artwork, sold or otherwise, are retained by Sharon Schurder. Portraiture and Photos of Sharon in the Studio all by Gaby Ekaireb. Rome Collection photos by Sophy Weiss.

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