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Thursday, March 3, 2011

To me or not to me - artists painting under pseudonyms

Recieved an email from an artist today asking for my views on her signing her work with a nickname. There are a number of artists who do this, 'Munro' is a local example. I guess if you are painting across styles it makes it easier for the audience to see each style belonging to a different personality, just as authors, writing different genres of books often use pseudonyms. If you are fortunate enough to become wildly famous, it could be confusing for the media I'm guessing. In the end don't know any rules as such. Guess its up to the individual to decide. What are your thoughts/feelings?


  1. Well, I am using a pseudonym, reason being that signing with would be a mission and a half. This my late husbands full name and not a combination of both our names... I have reasons not wanting to sign with my maiden name, so Angelique it was. I don't think I will use different names for different styles though.
    And as you said there is no rule as such.

  2. Oh dear, I just see what I had put in brackets in the above does not show in the posting, it should read ... signing with J Schulte-Zurhausen would be....

  3. Yes, I’ve also seen the name changing (not only with contemporary artists, but way back in art history as well) — plus I’ve done it myself! For me – as for perhaps some other female artists out there – it was not so much painting across styles, but rather a matter of confused identity. Earlier on, with my understanding of the ‘Laws of the Land’ about conjugal status and the signing of legal documents, I was quite pleased to blissfully sign my art with my newly acquired married surname. But things changed...
    Further along I would PERRR-haps sign the married surname, or that and add my maiden name with prefix and hyphen. When I felt that a specific piece of art had just been torn from my very own guts (alone!), I would not hesitate to claim back my maiden name and sign it as such.
    As years went by and I eventually reckoned I NOW knew WHOSE heart is beating inside me, I gleefully divorced myself from all surnames — and simply signed ‘JO’. I still do...