Thursday, January 17, 2008


A recent proposal by the Danish minister of employment Claus Hjort Frederiksen to cut down on supplementary unemployment benefits has created an uproar.
Protesters claim that this will destroy Danish cultural life since many artists, writers, actors and musicians survive on part time jobs and supplementary benefits.

Yes, I entered this debate...writing insightful comments on newspaper websites attacking the remarks from John Q. Public types, like: "...that will put an end to all those scrounging layabouts who can't draw...modern Art is just a big fraud...I know a hard-working single mother, who..." etc, etc, etc, etc, and this even when some of the more regular visitors to this here blog will know that I often myself attack the art- Establishment and claim that modern Art is a fraud - What a fraud I am!

Still, one thing is having warped opinions fueled by bitterness and envy, quite another is to be under the attack of THE FASCIST STATE APPARATUS! (the minister of employment)

And now, the point:
With all this debate flying around inside my head, I reached the conclusion that I believe you can divide artists into three categories (I use "artist" as a general term here which includes both visual artists, musicians, writers, actors, film makers, etc, etc)

A: Artists who live BY their Art.

Easy, this one - Simply artists who manage to make an income from creating art, and nothing else. The odd honorary scholarship or grand prize just adds to the pile.
This is of course the equivalent to "making it" but a position like that also means you have to answer to the demands of your gallery owner, record company, publishing house, etc and art-markets are like any other market: They go up and down.
We could call this the "hello, I'm an artist - Here's my card" category.

(This category also includes a sub-category of uniquely talented people who really don't give a damn about the market but create as they please and can make a living from it...)

B: Artists who live WITH their Art.

A bit more complicated, but perhaps covering the majority...Artists who make a living from a multitude of sources - Unskilled labour, scholarships, teaching, selling a bit of art, unemployment benefits, etc, etc.
They can't work with their art full-time, can't support themselves from it (or their families) but they can't give it up either. Basically this type of artist has a very flexible and in some ways favourable position but he/ she is rarely the person controlling it...Call this the "International Brotherhood of Art-workers" category.

C: Artists who live FOR their Art.

Of course all artists live for their art! Just like all parents still love their kids when they won't eat their food, go to bed on time or stop screaming at 3 AM...

But, to clarify things this category is reserved for that rare creature who somehow manages to exclude him/ her self from the above categories and:

-Does not go to a regular job (not even part time)
-Does not have a publishing deal, gallery connection, record company or similar.
(often) - Does not have a family (and the accompanying responsibilities)

Doesn't really have anything..

The last sentence is actually wrong, because this type of artist has plenty of an increasingly valuable asset in our time of free markets where you can - at least in theory, put a price tag on everything. This type of artist has plenty of,

Spare time

Usually such a privileged position in life has to be approached with heavy substance abuse, a seclusive hermit-like lifestyle filled with hate, bitterness and unwashed socks and be submitted to the fact that unfortunately the vast majority of this persons time is spent doing all sorts of other things than producing art...

But, sometimes this extreme focus on "living it real" can create something brilliant and truly original...let's call it the "Nirvana or bust" category.

(alternately the "Nirvana AND bust" category...)

Hmm, yes, interesting thoughts and all - But where does this leave YOU, Lennard... where do YOU fit in?..

Me? - I'm just a wonker.

(Ah, there - A blog entry doneth..)
Retro babe"...I know it's just a part-time job, Honey, but you'll have PLENTY of time for your writing and the dress code was not my idea but comes with the franchise, got that?.."
Panzer Nose art
Yes, a bit of variation today some WWII "nose art" on a U.S bomber.
(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

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