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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

[ from a. addair who is listening to Aqualung (Strange and Beautiful) ]

In a couple of weeks I will loan my art during an art show hosted by a local business.  My compensation is exposure; which hopefully leads to more art-making opportunities and to the sale of a painting so that I can eat, pay the mortgage, buy more supplies, etc. The company receives nothing for its willingness to host art except a marketing draw; which, of course, hopefully leads to customers and sales.

I think this is a fair exchange and probably would not be writing about it if a friend hadn’t mentioned that he thought events like this cheapened art.  In his opinion, the artist were being exploited by serving as marketing pawns and that art became nothing but a banal cheese platter, meant for enticing  customers.

Since that conversation I’ve thought a lot about it.  First let me say that I am grateful for the opportunity and don’t mean to whine or sound bitter, but the conversation is worth considering.

People make money off of artists and their art.  I don’t see how this should be entirely bad; but like any good thing, it can be perverted and exploited. In our culture (generally), art isn’t worth anything unless it sells something (or itself).  This is not ideal; for artists or  for the role that art plays outside of the artist.  Market value does not always equate with the many other standards by which to value a thing or an idea.

I write about these particulars because it is what I live, but I’m willing to bet that this priority on the almighty dollar reveals itself in the particulars that you live.  The obsession with profit, at whatever expense,  has ironically cheapened our lives.


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