How much do we understand about the difference? It’s all part of the same question about how the world of art and technology differs from the world of business.
But while there is debate about whether there’s a skill ceiling to what artists can achieve, there’s also a belief that the barriers to entry are low, as long as you’re willing to invest the time and energy. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that in most art galleries, for example, there are many people who have been there and done that, and so they’re not afraid to be there. But then what happens when someone like my grandfather, and countless other artists, is taken off that pedestal, when their art falls short of expectations and their fans grow weary of the repetitiveness, when they don’t seem to be making new art as frequently as they used to?
And if that’s the case, where do we go from there?
This is where the question becomes especially significant, which is what about the audience? That’s one important reason art museums — and in particular museums of art — have been under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the 2016 election, as they face an unprecedented attack on the mission of curating and promoting art. It’s the argument of those who are trying to take away the things they love about art and replacing them with something else.
For much of the 20th century, art was seen as a social good, worthy of public support, an extension of democracy. That’s changing, but I believe this is just the first step in an ongoing culture war across art. We can never stop thinking about and making a point about the value of art, especially when we think about how art has been sold.
There are plenty of galleries that will gladly take your work — if you’re willing to pay a high price for it. Maybe the highest price they’ll say you can sell an art work is $20,000. That’s not cheap, even if you have a very good record there, but it’s more than you spent on your first album or movie, or on your first movie ticket. That doesn’t seem fair.
There can be a trade-off, too. Sometimes, you need a lot of art to raise a lot of money. Maybe this is why more museums are getting into digital distribution, and why some artists are getting paid for their works as online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music come to replace print services once owned by print shops. It’s a long
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