Friday, December 31, 2010

Success in Art

Just watched two films on the uneasy connection between art and money: Art of the Steal, about Barnes Foundation move and Exit Through the Gift Shop, about the rise and exploitation(?) of Street Art.
I should say these movies are about greed and art, so as to avoid the error of demonizing money, because of course it's greed that causes problems. 

That lure of a large audience is pretty powerful and since I've never had the opportunity to make millions - let alone billions at the expense of my integrity, I can't say for sure that I'd have made better choices.  (I'd like to think so, of course.)   I think most artists really crave attention badly.  The sobering message to me from these movies though is this:  better a smaller audience who respects you than a huge audience who turns you into what they want you to be.  We all know this, right, but it's like wearing your seatbelt - you do it, you know it's the right thing to do, but if you come across a car crash where someone wasn't wearing one, you have even deeper reasons to remember to buckle up.  So let's buckle up and not sell out. 

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