Art and History

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Art and History

From Susan Fowler

Published before 2005


Tim Tyler wrote:
The only art I can think of from the past was interlaced with power and money. Artist eat and collectors pay money so artists can eat. I don't think art is going to change the world. I think it make strong statements though.

Tim,

Collectors do not pay their money so artists can eat. They are investing in art as a commodity, the value of which is set by the art critic/collector/gallery nexus. Whether artists eat is totally irrelevant in this system. The so-called artists who become prizes in this atmosphere of commerce need only perform like side-show freaks to draw the media. These performers are owned by promoters who share the wealth a bit, knowing that wealth itself is verification of value. The public is always wowed by wealth. Folks are unlikely to puzzle over the real value of something that has sold for millions of dollars to make some "artist" rich. There is at least one drawback in this system for the "artist" - his work is worth much more if he's dead.

Is our problem now just simple economics or something more sinister? Did we simply forget the masters of the past or were they deliberately extirpated by charlatans and their schemes? I see the ARC as a forum for exposing the who, the why, and the how behind the corruption of our craft. It is not a simple bread and butter issue that has ruined art in our time.

Susan Fowler