Prospectives From The Art World: The Crisis of Creativity
Start writing a post

Prospectives From The Art World: The Crisis of Creativity

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal." -- Pablo Picasso

835
Prospectives From The Art World: The Crisis of Creativity
https://pixabay.com/en/st-petersburg-isaac-kathedrahle-3710243/

My brief stint in the various strains of the New York City art world included smoky underground galleries in batten warehouses in East Williamsburg, glossy white midtown parlors, downtown dimly-lit gliztes with sparkles and champagne. Art, especially in times like these, has become a luxuriant decadence, a lazy afternoon opulence offered only to those who have the holy trifecta: money, resources, and, most importantly, time.

The art world is disillusioning because it is an illusion. The artist, the person with all the talent, is the least important part of the enterprise, especially if he is not old or dead. It's thrilling for an artist to make his first sale, say, for a measly thousand bucks—but not so thrilling when it goes up for auction for millions that the artist will never see. Artists, who tend to be nonstructural, bohemian free-spirits, are often maligned as financially illiterate hippies, anticapitalist (see: subversive) vagrants and vagabonds, or fast-burning junkies who die conveniently young and enrich the hedge funds that own all of the galleries, foundations, and auction houses long after they are dead. This was one crisis I had not anticipated.

The second crisis concerns what certain artists of certain backgrounds are "expected" or "allowed" to publish; if you are a minority of any kind, you can expect that you will only garner success if you make your identity the centerpiece of your creative underpinning, and especially if you wax yourself sick over the Suffering Of Your People. You are not allowed to present yourself as Artist first, [identity] second. You will always be [identity], [identity], [ethnic group], [income level] from [city] with roots in [country] or [religion], and if you are not creating art that stereotypically reflects one or all of these backgrounds—heaven forbid you are an aesthete or a classically-trained neo-baroque—you will be overlooked or dismissed without question. Not long ago, I attended a lecture in Harlem, where a Latino artist was asked why he was "making pop art." Why did his art not look more "Indigenous?" Why did it look so "American?" These are also questions I have been asked about my work. Why does my writing sound so "classical?" Why do I not make more films about my "background?" Yes, why do I not remain where I "belong?"

To dismiss this attitude as elitist belies the point—the point is that artists have now begun to internalize this and perpetuate it proudly. If I want to make it, they all seem to say, I had better start by portraying [my identity] as an impenetrable monolith, because we are a monolith, and we should all be creating art that is indistinguishable, one to the next.

Meanwhile, mediocrity is celebrated and sought after in the "meme economy" we have created and replicated. Artists are not artists, and people are not people. All are brands, all are branded, like cattle, fighting tooth and nail for five seconds—you can forget about fifteen minutes—of blustering, whiplash-inducing [ir]relevance. It is more common that I see people taking selfies with art rather than looking at art. "I like this art," they are saying, "because it's part of my brand. It makes me look [better/smarter/more interesting]!" Art, at its core, is about human expression. It is about the artist expressing an emotion, and the viewer experiencing an emotion. Now, art lies at the core of the meme economy, where creativity is shunned in favor of popularity, of branding. Start with a base of some pre-existing, intellectual property: Disney characters, for example, how about Mickey Mouse? Make him "subversive" by drawing x's over his eyes, then make it "ironic" by adding a dollar sign somewhere. And, the piece de resistance? A Basquiat crown! After all, you're a real artist who appreciates real art. But do not, under any circumstances, try to make something new.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine

You know YOU are not determined by your romantic status

2195
How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine
https://www.southbostontoday.com/celebrating-valentines-day-in-southie-next-thursday-of-course/

Although the most romantic and love-filled holiday is right around the corner, it's important to know that Feb.14, the middle day of the shortest month of the year, doesn't need to be determined by your current romantic status. With that being said, you can either choose to sulk over the fact that you're single or you can make the best out of Valentine's Day without even having one.

Here are a few ideas to celebrate the day:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

The iconic landmark is reinventing itself with a splashy new color.

4258
Eiffel Tower

Soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics are coming to Paris, and the Eiffel Tower will be in the spotlight.

Embedded so much into Paris's identity, the iconic landmark is no stranger to historic events and world-class gatherings over the years. It is sure to shine again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

You don't just start as the person you are meant to be; there is a journey full of ups and downs that mold a person, so this is my journey.

4363
Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

Overall I'd love to say I grew up a happy overly enthusiastic child that was taught to love herself and be loved by everyone else, but I can't say that and I never will. My smile wasn't always as bright as it is today, but this is the story behind my smile, the story about how I got here to the happiest place I'll ever be. I'll begin at freshman year of high school.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants

Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!

6855
The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants
Where to start...... Let me start with the cliche that life throws us curveballs and what we do with it is what counts.

One day he walked into my life. UNEXPECTED! And one day he walked out!

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

See which conversations rose to the top on Odyssey this week!

5801
Pixabay

New response writers means exciting new conversations on Odyssey! We're proud to spotlight our talented creators and the topics that matter most to them. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments