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As a working artist it certainly seems a point of tension we live in, that perception of art as luxury vs commodity.

People who see art as luxury don’t see that they are surrounded by art—the music they listen to, the architecture the see every where, people read and write every day, they speak to other people everyday, they watch TV or movies. Hardly an exhaustive list of art we find in our everyday lives. This is all art. It may not be Art, but it is art.

(no one really agrees on what is good or bad music if you look at record sales of particular artists vs addressable market sizes. Sales are actually quite low in that regard for even the most popular of artists).

But that is also the point of tension many artists face, making what they find interest in making vs who is willing to pay for the art, avoiding “selling out”. Not an easy prospect.

“What is valuable, though, is personalisation.” is as true a statement as any. I’ve never seen a “Top Ten Reasons to Support the Arts” change anyone’s mind. But I have seen minds change when it becomes personal. For instance, there was a state legislator in Georgia who was a staunch opponent to arts funding. That is, until her daughter wanted to take ballet and the local ballet company had to close their doors due to lack of funding.

“Art exists because there are people who enjoy art.” is the only statement I truly take issue with. Your other stuff is mostly generalizations of market sizes, which every business has to contend with. To that I will only say niche is not a bad thing. Most businesses would love to address a niche market. Many entrepreneurs believe niche is where the money is.

Art exists because people have something to say. Whether paintings on a cave wall telling the story of the latest hunt or fall harvest or a painter painting a portrait of a newlywed couple in Pompei. Often it doesn’t even matter if anyone enjoys it.

It’s been my experience that most people don’t hate art. They just hate “that” art, which gets to the personal perspective again. They hate jazz, but not music. They hate Maplethorpe, but not photography. They hate the impressionists, but not the baroque. Etc.

Just some thoughts.

Joe

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