so posts from people who create art of various types that i enjoy have had me thinking a lot about where the artist in america stands in today's world
in particular, an exchange with n8zilla
(reposted w/ permission - thanks!)
N8: art is a lot like music... some of it is profoundly amazing, a whole lot more of it is crap. no one feels bad for putting down music which they think sucks... it's too bad the art world establishment has made having an opinion other than theirs into such a bad thing... i really believe it's the reason most people see art as some strange, esoteric thing that doesn't speak to them. if you don't like the music on the radio, you change the station (or pop in a CD of something good)... looking at art should be the same way.
ME: agreed; i think the other problem with how people approach art at least in the US is that we don't teach kids about or expose them to art in the same way that we do music; art is not a part of daily life like music is
ramble about growing up exposed to lots of art, and how lucky i was ...
but anyway - the market for art that doesn't match what the art world is promoting this week is unfortunately narrow, in a large part because people are intimidated by art, afraid to form their own opinions and unable to think critically about the work being viewed - but we're seeing many of the same problems with performed artforms - symphony, opera, theatre, ballet, etc - once again, not being exposed to them and taught to think about art in its many forms has lead to a dumber audience, and one which is often unwilling to try new things or unable to find a path to enjoying what they are seeing/hearing/etc
and the continued budget crunches and no child left behind mandates at our schools means that art education is getting worse, not better - which is a bad thing for the future - not just of the arts but in general - if the next generation doesn't learn how to be creative and how to think for themselves we as a nation are pretty well doomed
when coupled with the ongoing furor over various artists asking their fans to directly support their work (through donation sponsored writing a la http://shadesong.livejournal.com/tag/wind+tunnel+dreams
) or greygirlbeast
's monthly Sirenia Digest (which is awesome; you should absolutely subscribe if you like creepy, sometimes erotic, always beautiful short stories) or amanda fucking palmer (go read her posts http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/200582690/why-i-am-not-afraid-to-take-your-money-by-amanda
) or the non-traditional distribution and funding of "film" projects such as doctor horrible and the guild or any of a million other examples
anyway - it seems to me that there are two major issues
the first being the lack of any meaningful exposure to art in many of its forms in our education system and the ongoing battle against art (that is obscene in my eyes; pull funding from the arts council) that seems to continue even as our society has access to unlimited amounts of pornography on the web and elsewhere
the second being the behavior of big hollywood, music lables, theatre and concert venues, etc - they take a huge percentage of the earnings (so the artist earns pennies on each sale) or charge exhorbitant fees (raising the cost of the ticket to see a live performance beyond affordable)
and if the artist can't earn enough money to continue to produce art, or if the family can't afford tickets to see a play or go to the symphony or the monet exhibit at the met, or if the dance company goes dark because the grants supporting them were pulled with thousands of others when our government voted to de-fund the arts programs, i think we all lose both individually and as a society