What does your Signature mean to You?
February 23, 2008
Do you and if yes, sign your work and does this have a special significance for you? What do you think about using an artist name versus using your real name ? Or is this rather unimportant for you, something you are taught to do but you never really thought about?
When I actually started my artist career as a full time artist I wanted to make everything right. I knew that most artists sign their work and was told that a work is clearly not finished when it is not signed and so I tried to find something that would be some sort of identification. At the same time I wanted to sign with a name that was simple and easy to remember.
I thought about the pro’s and con’s of using your real name, staying in the background with your person, giving your work the emphasis not your face. At that point I decided to use a pseudonym that did not only have a very special meaning for me but was also easy to remember. It can be sometimes quite irritating if people get your name wrong because it is complicated, spell it wrong and pronounce it the wrong way. It can be embarrassing for both parties. So I thought about choosing an easy pseudonym that could be helpful. (You also can hide behind it when you are famous )
I am not going to bore you with the abouts why I chose a pseudonym but when I looked at my paintings lately – especially since I started the new series – I suddenly was aware of my signature which somehow did not fit any more. Did this ever happen to you?
It is not because I consider this terribly important to have the right signature but I consider it part of a painting, part of your whole work. It is the first identification. If the photo in your passport is too old you won’t be able to cross the border any more because the border patrol won’t be able to identify you. Famous paintings are checked by their signatures first and identified through that – so there seems to be a certain significance.
But what do you do if the initial purpose or original inspiration for your work has changed? Do you change the signature also?
I think my work has changed. Not only the subjects have changed but my attitude and seriousness as well. I have started to dig deeper, to look behind things much more than just being occupied by playfulness and ornamentation. So I decided to change my signature, make it simple and pure, reduce it to the essence, the initials. This is much more freedom…??
So what do you think about this?
I have found a couple of articles which touch this very subject and also give some food for thought:
Sign your Art so that People can read it – by Alan Bamberger (ArtBusiness.com)
Your Signature – What’s in it? – Interesting thread on WetCanvas
Signing a Painting – by Marion Boddy-Evans