In a telling shift most of us have seen happening in the art world, the NY Times is currently featuring stories revealing the co-opting of “creative” by the business sector.
In Art, Freedom of Expression Doesn’t Extend to ‘Is It Real?’ reports on the current refusal of scholarly expertise in authenticating works of art. Scholars face lawsuits for simply employing their expertise, doing their jobs.
“Peter R. Stern, an art lawyer in New York, tells clients never to volunteer an opinion unless formally asked by the owners, and even then to make sure the owners sign a waiver promising not to sue. If they don’t ask, don’t tell. ‘Art scholarship is fighting a losing battle against commerce,’ he said.”
And earlier this week, the NY Times reported on a new exhibition in Times Square of a work of art. The artist has been making art for 30 years, but has never had such an audience until she won an online contest in which web site visitors gave her the most votes.
As noted in Web Sites Illuminate Unknown Artists,”the site, ArtistsWanted.org, is not a charity but a business, one that hopes to make a profit identifying artistic talent and connecting it to an audience. Investors are pouring millions into it and similar start-ups and social networks like Behance.net and EveryArt.com, which cater to the growing cadre of people who consider themselves creative and think there’s a market for their work outside the network of galleries and dealers who dominate the commerce in art and design.”
The corporate world spins this as “democratizing culture,” though in their successful attempts to negate the scholar, the new accessibility to the arts continues to keep the artists out and the money in.