Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Art, Cheap?

Claymation figures that were made by my students at Balboa City School in San Diego, CA back in 2004.  Yes, we made awesome movies too!  Past life moment.... I taught visual art for 6 years in secondary schools.

I feel I need to say more about my ideas on art and economics.  This word CHEAP, in regards to The Why Cheap Art Manifesto, has been making me feel a bit edgy since I posted my thoughts on how I am going to go about selling my work here on my blog.

First of all, I see Bread and Puppets’ Cheap Art Manifesto as a humorous yet provocative statement.  I chose to post this on my blog because it is a simple, idealistic, political yet funny statement that relates to some ideas about how I want to sell my work. 

However, I realize that the word cheap is a loaded word especially in relationship to art.

By no means do I think of art which is well conceived and executed with an artist’s soulful expression as cheap, meaning that is of little value, vulgar, or inferior.  Creative expression is hugely valuable!   This word Cheap, as used in Bread and Puppets’ Manifesto, means that there should not be walls between the elite collectors, corporate collectors and museums charging fixed and often high admission fees, and a viewing audience or consumer.  Art needs to be accessible to everyone regardless of economic status.  Artists also need to be valued by society.  It is wonderful when we artists can receive something in return for our energy and sharing.  Money is very nice.  However I believe that art cannot be consumed just to increase one’s investment portfolio or show one’s elite standing or status.

Art is humankind’s life blood.  It moves one, it tells stories, it is a record of where we’ve been and where we are going.  Art is at times mysterious, sublime, painful, exuberant, dreamlike, super realistic, reflective, beautiful, ugly and the list goes on because art’s expressions are infinite.  Art, whether it is visual art, performance art, music, theater, film, poetry or story, is meant to be shared, enjoyed, pondered over and discussed.  How do we put a price tag on this?

1 comment:

  1. dear Kim,

    is me again, following your thoughts about art...and expressing mine, since we're friends and we're too far to have this discussion near the lake, or at a coffee shop, or accompanied by Josh's charming guitar.

    Indeed, I hardly imagine an artist thinking that art is a cheap thing, in the sense you're affraid it can be interpreted (maybe some frustrated person can consider the kitsch as art). art, as you said very clear, is a value in itself, beacause is an expression of life, as a whole.

    On your previous post, I have commented that in my oppinion, art is either free or industry.

    I hear you're oppinion: that art should be accesible to everyone.
    And it isn't so? When nowadays is so easy to have a good camera ...Look at the new wave of photographers, digital painters, graphic artists, and all new media expressions...anywhere on internet you'll find an incredible number of astonishing photographs. Today anyone can buy a guitar, or a piano, or drums and just play...is so much good music out there...we dont have anymore time to listen, to filter either...

    so the means of doing art are cheap today, and talented people can express themselves thru art. But for having all those art supplies, "artists" of all kind and grade sustain an entire industry & manufacturing.

    and what about the schools? why art (if is an instinctual manifestation dealing with our most intimate feelings) needs school? school is a system, and systems are usually ruled by money. you've been yourself a teacher. you've got payed for theaching art. and usually a good teacher is well payed.
    I'm asking: can you teach someone how to express their feelings? isn't that a bit ridiculous?
    art should be a free expression, as anyone soul is like a mirror reflecting in a very particular way how that person sees thru life.
    I'm not sure I made my point, but I'm trying to explain why I said that art is free...because I think art should be just like a poem: you and your feeling or state of mind, going out together, finding a rhyme and "Voila!" : that's the poem of life...no price tag can stand there.

    On the other hand, there's a lot of people not capable of producing art; but in the same time, they're enjoying art like crazy. Those people make from art an industry. art becomes a trade.
    and that's the source of all the system (schools and everything).
    between the two worlds - the world of free art and the world of industrial art - live the critics. an unpleasant and unhappy symbiot.

    I think I should stop.

    And to conclude (maybe someone else can add some other ideas) I'd paraphrasing you, saying that if art is humankind's life blood, then Love is humankind's heart.