I totally agree that the dilemma for artists is one of making a living so they can eat and buy tools of the trade, and pretending money doesn’t matter. Also needing to suck up to billionaires to make a name for themselves and to eat.
The problem occurs when the billionaires know nothing about art, except what appeals to them, who hold disdain for Academias of Art, and who believe anybody scribbling on a page is a professional artists.
A while back in Europe where I am from, art was divided into fine art and commercial art. Commercial artists were very capable at rendering concepts for their bosses, the billionaires. Fine artists had no external boss and listened to their muse, they also were trained and educated. Often fine artists were told to not work at commercial art to make a living but work at anything else unrelated to to art. Otherwise their sensibilities would suffer and they would lose their authenticity.
There was sound reasoning behind this, namely, in order to hear your muse you had to live in a heightened state of existence and in solitude to be able to capture on canvas what the Muse was communicating.
All of that in our times has become blurred, with the advent of everyone is an artist, and as soon as you do an hour workshop online and can draw a reasonable tree you consider yourself a professional, especially if your neighbour buys the tree. Education in art doesn’t count anymore, nor does that extra element of making a work alive, something beyond just its “bark”.
I agree with the author that artists are the most exploited group of people in our society as a result of this disdain for professionalism or even a vocation in art.
Priests have a vocation and they are supported by their institution. They need to have a degree and education behind them. Artists also should only be professionals when they have a vocation for art and be supported AND educated and degreed.
But billionaires did away with that when they started using art as a Wall Street Game and deciding what is art and what isn’t. People with no aesthetical training or knowledge. For example Andy Warhol did kitsch art to show how valueless capitalism is and how empty hollywood stars. The billionaires then reversed this message and made Koons famous saying mickey mouse and pop art is actually what is great and forcing that genre on the public. Kitsch art became popular and is being sought out by collectors and museums. In fact anything that stinks of beauty is laughed at.
Well now we know we can no longer show our souls in art and help others to become in touch with their souls because we would be ridiculed and starve…
Having lived in Communist Poland during my teen years, where pursuit of money was discouraged, artists were much better esteemed. If they graduated from an academy of art, they were given a studio, a place to live and connected with a gallery. Of course communism had its ow problems, namely the State decided what is art, so political themes. etc were discouraged.
The role of artist as visionary is also discouraged in capitalism, as in communism. Fine artists were ones that could somehow predict the future in their musings and only often after their death, when the future was now, were they discovered, like Van Gogh who sold not one painting even though his brother was an art agent. And now scientists are saying that somehow Van Gogh saw beyond the material and painted fractals.
Billionaires have taken over the world and dictate the rules in practically every profession now, even religion. As my ex father in law used to say, “If you have money you don’t need anything else”. Billionaires only trust other billionaires, no longer respecting artists, or scientists or anybody that does not bring them a profit. Art agents now want to take on an artist only if he has money people behind him and gets sales. It is no longer enough to do art.
It is time to teach billionaires a lesson in respect, by firstly taxing the hell out of them, because people do not need that kind of money to live and shaming them to give to community instead of buying private space ships.
When religion was respected and respectful, billionaires who attended sermons of brimstone and fire were far more inclined to be charitable.
Now there is no moral philosophy they listen to only their own egotistical narcissistic voices backed by Capitalistic economical thinking.