Art and money mix like oil and water. Much of the time the jar of commercial art is shaken and stirred so vigorously it is difficult to see anything but the glistening, spinning shine that tempts the eye, like silver coins in a wishing well on a summer's day. Pretty, but skin deep...
Wait a while, pause, breathe slow and the whirl of appearance will ease. Art soon finds its place above the slippery ooze of the trading floor.
The nature of art is far from the marketplace, despite the assertions of some that artists should justify financial support for their work or judge its value by its potential for commercial success.
The Funding of Art
The UK Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport gave a speech at the British Museum that argued government art funding should be based on commodification. The great and the good of the arts establishment sat listening, uncomfortable, yet remained polite. None spoke with any passion after the event against the Secretary's position.
I decided to create the site The Profit of Art to counter the assertion that art should be justified in terms of its potential to make money:
Here's a short extract:
"At its root, art is essentially spiritual and taps our senses in its journey to our hearts, but unlike religion, art does not require faith. It simply is.
Art is amoral and human centered. We experience it, are persuaded or not by it, connect or not with others because of it, and our eyes are opened or not as a result of it. The choice and experience of it is all ours. The experience is 'owned' by us and cannot be sold. Art has an intrinsic value but we must judge its value according to our own lights. We have to take responsibility for its value rather than allowing others to make those judgments for us. Art makes us act."
And yet isn't this site EyeInvent all about the sale of art? I hope not. Looking at the site statistics visitors browse images far more for their pleasure than for commercial use - and when they join as members they may download any image they see for their personal enjoyment without having to pay a bean.
I hope you find the artwork and ideas I've presented on my new site thought provoking, but above all I hope you find The Profit of Art lays not in its potential to encourage commerce, but in its strength to connect one world to another...
Mike de Sousa