Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Against the Rising Tide of Artistic Conformity
We are living in a new golden age of the arts. Do we feel it? No, but neither did the Romantics of Paris, the Beats of Soho, nor the Mods of Liverpool. The only thing we must do is create. It's not the gallery owners or the publishers who let us down--they have never really mattered to creativity anyway--it is ourselves we must keep in check. I believe we are the ones who have gotten us into this mess. Believing that art owes us not only a living, but a fine fortune and global fame, is one of the greatest audacities the artist can adopt, and creates a demand for execs, lawyers, managers and dealers.
We must create, for that which is remembered is that which is survives, and that which survives is that which is plentiful. This is why I think the new wave of self-publishing is so important. It's not merely an alternative marketing tactic, it's a rebellion against the corporate overlords. Follow the new hack formulas if you like. Remove all the adverbs and descriptors. That plays into marketability, not art.
"Then you won't sell."
"Then I won't sell. But I'll leave something behind that I'm proud of and that people might like when you and your ilk are dead and gone."
I will not be a serf in their corporate feudal system.