Otto Rank talks about the birthing of art by the artist as akin to the birth of a child. Both contain the trauma of birth, a conception, creation and attachment that leads to separation. Just as the child has to separate from the protective mother, so the artist must separate from the artwork with some joy and some pain in order to fully actualise as a artist.
Ellen Handler Spitz in ‘Image and Insight’ wonders “What does it mean…to be surrounded in one’s studio or at an exhibition by one’s own works? …They may represent split-off parts, …tokens of passion, effort or anxiety overcome.” So what then of the artist who hoards their work and is not interested in selling or of the artist who destroys earlier pieces? Is there, perhaps, some attachment disorder involved?