Defining authenticity

Recently I had a wonderful and inspiring conversation with an artist whose work I really admire.  Her work to me is hugely authentic. And we had a good chat about what it means to be an authentic artist.

It’s a difficult one when you define something in terms of authenticity.  To be authentic as a person is to stay true to who you are, which begs the premise that you know who you are to begin with.

Painting is similar for me.  I often look at works and think to myself that is an authentic painting. And to me it is somehow that the artist has really conveyed the sense that they know why they are painting a subject, and how it links to them. It’s sort of when an artists head and mind comes together is how I like to think of it.

Whether a work holds authenticity or not is a big question. It also requires some form of personal judgement about the work and artist which I am not sure I am entirely sure I am comfortable about making. In many ways, how can we know if a work is authentic, unless we are that artist ?

I’d be interested in hearing what you all think makes an authentic work and if it’s even something that is needed?