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Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:13 PM

 

Should artists be paid a living wage?

What amount should they be paid? Who would decide if they were a real artist? Should their be any volume requirements set for # of pieces of work per month/year?

Seems like as good a time as any to bring up this topic as some people seem to be able to define what a "real" artist is and could serve on the boards.

131 replies, 13161 views

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Reply Should artists be paid a living wage? (Original post)
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 OP
izquierdista Apr 2012 #1
el_bryanto Apr 2012 #2
hack89 Apr 2012 #3
libtodeath Apr 2012 #11
hack89 Apr 2012 #16
Cobalt Violet Apr 2012 #18
libtodeath Apr 2012 #19
hack89 Apr 2012 #23
Cobalt Violet Apr 2012 #29
Trillo Apr 2012 #62
hack89 Apr 2012 #64
hunter Apr 2012 #101
hack89 Apr 2012 #106
marions ghost Apr 2012 #113
CAPHAVOC Apr 2012 #25
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #74
Cobalt Violet Apr 2012 #79
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #102
raccoon Apr 2012 #4
hunter Apr 2012 #50
raccoon Apr 2012 #83
JustAnotherGen Apr 2012 #5
vi5 Apr 2012 #6
MadrasT Apr 2012 #20
vi5 Apr 2012 #48
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #85
Daniel537 Apr 2012 #7
libtodeath Apr 2012 #8
snooper2 Apr 2012 #9
libtodeath Apr 2012 #15
villager Apr 2012 #26
el_bryanto Apr 2012 #28
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #59
Codeine Apr 2012 #81
OneTenthofOnePercent Apr 2012 #120
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2012 #10
dkf Apr 2012 #53
cbdo2007 Apr 2012 #12
closeupready Apr 2012 #13
NV Whino Apr 2012 #14
JoePhilly Apr 2012 #17
rrneck Apr 2012 #21
JoePhilly Apr 2012 #66
rrneck Apr 2012 #69
TalkingDog Apr 2012 #30
OneTenthofOnePercent Apr 2012 #123
killbotfactory Apr 2012 #22
Cobalt Violet Apr 2012 #24
TalkingDog Apr 2012 #27
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #88
Nye Bevan Apr 2012 #31
Freddie Stubbs Apr 2012 #32
rrneck Apr 2012 #33
frazzled Apr 2012 #34
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #89
Starry Messenger Apr 2012 #35
SoCalDem Apr 2012 #36
MineralMan Apr 2012 #37
Opportunityknocks Apr 2012 #38
TheKentuckian Apr 2012 #39
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #40
Cleita Apr 2012 #41
Taitertots Apr 2012 #42
madrchsod Apr 2012 #43
CTyankee Apr 2012 #47
Opportunityknocks Apr 2012 #61
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #44
Lint Head Apr 2012 #45
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #58
CTyankee Apr 2012 #46
onenote Apr 2012 #49
guitar man Apr 2012 #75
hunter Apr 2012 #51
kpete Apr 2012 #52
lynne Apr 2012 #54
CreekDog Apr 2012 #55
rrneck Apr 2012 #72
surrealAmerican Apr 2012 #56
MrSlayer Apr 2012 #57
Proles Apr 2012 #60
IndyJones Apr 2012 #63
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #65
badtoworse Apr 2012 #67
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #77
badtoworse Apr 2012 #84
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #91
badtoworse Apr 2012 #94
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #103
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #104
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #105
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #107
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #109
geardaddy Apr 2012 #112
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #118
geardaddy Apr 2012 #121
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #122
geardaddy Apr 2012 #124
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #115
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #117
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #126
aspieextrodinare Apr 2012 #127
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #129
frazzled Apr 2012 #130
badtoworse Apr 2012 #131
ecstatic Apr 2012 #68
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #86
Cobalt Violet Apr 2012 #111
Honeycombe8 Apr 2012 #70
HooptieWagon Apr 2012 #71
GReedDiamond Apr 2012 #73
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #76
GReedDiamond Apr 2012 #92
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #96
GReedDiamond Apr 2012 #97
quaker bill Apr 2012 #78
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #80
babydollhead Apr 2012 #82
IDemo Apr 2012 #95
babydollhead Apr 2012 #100
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #87
WCGreen Apr 2012 #90
LanternWaste Apr 2012 #93
geardaddy Apr 2012 #110
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #116
One_Life_To_Give Apr 2012 #98
aikoaiko Apr 2012 #99
Marr Apr 2012 #108
hunter Apr 2012 #128
Puregonzo1188 Apr 2012 #114
OneTenthofOnePercent Apr 2012 #119
guardian Apr 2012 #125

Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:15 PM

1. Out of Thomas Kinkaide's estate??

 

sounds good to me. Karmic justice.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:16 PM

2. That's an interesting question

Obviously as currently set up an artist deserves whatever they are able to induce others to pay. That's not very satisfying though; we all can think of deserving artists (in our opinion), who don't seem to be able to get the success they deserve.

Bryant

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:16 PM

3. No

their talent and the popularity of their work should determine their income. That being said, I support both government and private support for the arts.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:27 PM

11. How many great artists of various types were popular in their day?

Sure this may apply to musicians but what about some of the great painters,philosophers,writers that we now realize have brought much to out culture now decades to centuries after their life.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:32 PM

16. How many more absolutely lousy artists were there that really needed a career change?

given the choice, I rather my taxes be spent on education and health care. Subsidizing every self-proclaimed Picasso or Mozart is a luxury we cannot afford.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:42 PM

18. We can afford it. But we would rather kill people instead.

I'd rather my tax dollars go toward supporting artists and the arts than constant wars. Cut defense and we can afford a lot of things.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:45 PM

19. Well said!

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:56 PM

23. No - the money needs to go to education, heath, housing, social safety networks.

artist do not deserve anything more or anything less then every other American.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:06 PM

29. We can afford all that too! We're not a poor country.

Cut defense
[link:|

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Response to hack89 (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:34 PM

62. You contradicted yourself.

Perhaps you're aware of it. Specifically, when you wrote this phrase, "artist do not deserve anything more or anything less then every other American." Above, you wrote, "I support both government and private support for the arts."

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Response to Trillo (Reply #62)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:03 PM

64. By that I mean the present system of federal, state and local grants to arts groups

and private philanthropy in support of the arts. Not a blanket tax payer subsidized wage to every artist.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 01:02 PM

101. If we had a strong social safety net, we'd have more artists.

And that would be a very good thing.

Grinding poverty kills the soul.

If everyone had a safe place to live and no fears they would suffer lack of food or health care, most unemployed people would be looking for work and making art. Few people can tolerate inactivity.

Nearly everything humans do is art -- storytelling, cooking, home-decorating, gardening, sports, writing software (my favorite!)...

If we had generous social safety nets many more truly gifted artists would find their calling and the world would be a much better place.

With a generous social safety net, maybe a homeless guy slumped down against the wall with a cup and a cardboard sign might be doing something, even a very small thing, to make the world a brighter place.

Our market driven society is totally fubar. It uses people up and throws them aside when they are no longer profitable. Some people never even make it into the market, and others live their entire lives as serfs and wage slaves suffering work that breaks down their bodies and minds.

We're all artists and we deserve more.

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Response to hunter (Reply #101)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:11 PM

106. And if worms carried .45's the birds wouldn't fuck with them.

lets get the safety net first - then all Americans would have the freedom they deserve.

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Response to hunter (Reply #101)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:11 PM

113. You put it in the big picture



Just yesterday I saw a very career artist friend lose his rental studio because of medical bills. And everyone here would have no problem with the quality of his work.

The recession is putting the death knell to a lot of art careers...and a lot of other good and deserving cultural and social programs.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:00 PM

25. Me too.

 

But I think everyone should be given a survival Dole. Then if they have any spunk they can do better.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:11 AM

74. So if I label myself an artist, the government should pay me a living wage

 

Heck yea, I'll sign up!

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #74)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:00 AM

79. I don't think it right that actual artists should suffer because of a few dishonest folks like you.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #79)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:02 PM

102. Of course they would

 

I am not the only one who noticed this problem. I don't get paid a living wage for taking care of autistic kids, what makes you think I wouldn't want to get paid a living wage for producing art. Talent level would have nothing to do with it, unless you want the government dictating what is and is not art.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:18 PM

4. Yes. If Adolf Hitler had been paid, he might've stayed out of politics. nt

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Response to raccoon (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:03 PM

50. Hitler might have been another Thomas Kinkade!

Next time anyone goes time traveling, teach young Hitler how to be a "Painter of Light."

You'll be doing the world a big favor.

"Controversial artist arrested urinating at Eiffel Tower" is a much better headline than "HITLER INVADES FRANCE"

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Response to hunter (Reply #50)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:57 AM

83. Sounds like a good idea for an alternate history! nt

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:19 PM

5. No

Artists should be paid based on who the Rich Russians and Chinese are scooping up their work. Right now - that's who is buying my fiance's work that his promoter in Germany and promoter in Italy are selling. That's also who is asking him for example . . . a garden bench in copper that looks like a dolphin.


Artists and their muses are much like music snobs.

Some people detest Katy Perry and wouldn't be caught dead purchasing or listening to her music. These same people love Led. Or Aretha. Or Billy Joel.

Or writers - I personally have zero interest in reading 'bodice ripper' romance novels - they don't compare to Leon Uris' body of work.

Or wine - a lot of people like drinking a box of wine - some people will turn their nose up at something without the correct 'pedigree'.

Art and tastes are individual. But when it comes to PURCHASING - artists are at the whims of perception, dealers, galleries, and the people in the market of their 'era' that are purchasing the art.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:22 PM

6. I'm not sure from what this discussion stems...

But as someone who is and has always been more into the arts than anything else in life (even though I've never made my career or made much money at all) I'm conflicted on it. It's pretty much one of the only things I think that I believe in free market on. If enough people like something and think it's worthwhile......then that person should get paid accordingly. If a select enough group likes what that person is doing enough to keep them merely paying their bills and keeping their lights on and the artist in question is o.k. with that.....then they should get paid accordingly. If they can't manage to find anyone willing to shell out any of their money for what they do....then they can and should still do it. They just shouldn't expect to make a living at it.

Yes, I know this brings up lots of points of dispute in that popular culture and mass taste is often very bad and not at all rewarding of what others would deem "true art". But as much as I"m conflicted on saying so.......that's the way it is.

I don't have an answer, I guess, although I'm guessing this has something to do with Kincaide passing?

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Response to vi5 (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:47 PM

20. +1

Especially this part:

If they can't manage to find anyone willing to shell out any of their money for what they do....then they can and should still do it. They just shouldn't expect to make a living at it.


If someone can make a living as an artist/musician, great.

But society doesn't owe any support to artists/musicians beyond what the market will bear.

And if the market wants crappy piano bar music instead of Chopin and Mozart well, it is what it is.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:49 PM

48. I should have also added....

That I think some of the best art (music in particular) comes from struggle. It comes from being hungry both literally and figuratively.

At least in terms of music, successful, happy, wealthy people tend to not create a lot of art that appeals to me personally.

I should also add that I feel the same way about sports. If the community and a segment of society wants to support teams or whatever with their hard earned money and that's enough to sustain then great. But I don't think we should be subsidizing sports teams or stadiums or any of that either. If it can't sustain itself, then same thing applies: If people want to play sports for the love of the game there are plenty of ways to do it. But if the open market can't support it, government shouldn't be cutting them any breaks.

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Response to vi5 (Reply #48)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:16 AM

85. Subsidizing sports stadiums is somewhat a transanction on an open market

Last edited Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:20 PM - Edit history (2)

The top leagues can afford to shell out the money for a stadium for a team an owner couldn't realistically do it(team is a family business rather than just one of many businesses they own) so it is not really a matter of sustaining themselves more of a matter of . The leagues like most businesses are interested in maximizing profits for itself and all of it's teams. A long time ago, leagues could have easily said no team can ever move. There is a very specific reason why they choose not to, to increase their bargaining power over the city they reside in. With a legitimate threat to move(NFL loves LA for this reason), that unbelievably affects the amount of funding they can negotiate and if they don't, they have another city that is more than willing to agree to their terms. Why put out your own money when you can get someone else to cover hundreds of millions of costs for you? Businesses, no matter the product they sell, aren't generally known for the kindness of their hearts(if they are, it is usually a cover for a tactic). If it was simply a matter of fan support leading to losses they would simply move or sell the team to recoup their losses and often times those that purchase a team choose to relocate.

The reason why, perhaps stretching, I see it as an open market transaction is the city is purchasing a building(large portion of costs) so that they can see a team play in their city wearing the city name & also hosts other events. In my view, rather than the government regulating or have some of restrictions, it is actually the player. It breaks down when you consider it is the government making the purchase but anyone besides the owner & city(or state) could make the purchase if they wanted to & had the resources(which brings another question as to what an open market is, people with no money aren't players in the market working on the idea "open" means open to anyone. Also they would have to deal with a city approving a building a built and where(which an owner would also have to deal with) which makes it less open). Which a millionaire (or group) offers $300 million(calling their bluff) to convince Oklahoma City group that owned the Sonics to convince them to keep the team in Seattle(late in that particular situation was proved that they had no interest in staying in Seattle and used a rather non-transparent strategy including the settlement deal(that assured their move) which was betting on Seattle to not approve renovations for KeyArena which would have brought the city (out of the OKC owners' pockets) $195 million. They won that bet and paid just $45 million that was the upfront amount from the settlement(that whole Sonics thing wasn't a typical case from all factors of a franchise relocating). However, a millionaire getting involved like that is highly unusual.

Technically it isn't open but when you get technical it still wouldn't if the ownership covered all costs with city approving location(how would noise pollution affect nearby neighborhoods) and sort of thing and there probably isn't a true open market.

Now I should point out I haven't said if I agree or disagree with any of the practices involved(suggesting that the city should pay), just that it is the way it is. Personally, I say it depends. I understand completely how messed up & dishonest the tactics are but even then they have a lot of hold over me because of the reality my favorite team going elsewhere. I'd would say with any subsidization, if we're being honest here the governments subsidize all kinds of shit, what is the value to the city? In most cases it doesn't benefit from an economic standpoint, teams hire mostly millionaires who don't even live in the city they work for and the more rich you are, the more likely you are to hoard and therefore limiting the multiplier effects that come in to play. Though with something like sports, there is a value (say that about art as well) that isn't economic but is the largest factor in deciding whether a team leaves or stays(regardless if it is economically viable or not). If they can somehow pull it off, a city can great a deal, San Diego had a great deal with the Qualcomm stadium which they completely own. The Chargers paid the city to play there in lease agreements, the city made modifications to comply with ADA and agreed to cover lost ticket sales as a result(seat reduction) if under 60,000 which led accusations that Chargers were purposely trying to sell less tickets(you can do that by raising the price) and had to be sued one time for payments owed. Chargers are the team now playing the build or watch us leave game but they actually don't seem as quite evil as other teams when they play that game.

I would have voted for the Cardinals proposal to build a stadium in a dirt area in northwest Mesa but it lost narrowly and in that same area was a bland shopping center that featured a 24-hour Wal*Mart(which was subsidized). It wasn't a good deal based on the amount the team requested(I think it would be good based on national championship games, Super Bowls, international soccer, etc. would have been rare cases) but the team leaving somewhere else is a risk I personally wouldn't risk. Myself, knowing what I know about these tactics & threats I would still lean that way so imagine the kind of bargaining power they have. Of course you stand-up to that by not giving them what they want but another city will give them want they want. In any case, subsidization in these cases should go to public vote and feel that is the fairest way.

In-case my main point is lost, like I said, it is not a case of the businesses sustaining themselves but more of a case they could, but they don't want to.

edit-I'm forgetting one key detail of the stadium costs. There is also little motivation for owners to incur the costs of constructions because they also deal with the costs the come with operating a franchise & stadium maintenance, upkeep, and other costs associated with operating a stadium. I believe they should offer to cover a larger portion of costs than they typically do but they aren't going to do this. Also I'm incorrect on my statement about San Diego but there was something I've read about a city with a generous deal in a book that wasn't biased towards one point of view or the other(mentions how vast majority it is bad for the city) that I don't have anymore. It is currently a bad deal for both teams(for the city largely because of rising maintence costs due to not dealing with problems) and would end up worse for the city if the team does leave.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:24 PM

7. No.

I'm with Bill Maher on this. No govt. involvement in the arts.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:24 PM

8. I think the notion that creativity needs to be sacrificed for the sake of a "job" is sad

There should be a basic minimum living standard for everyone including health care and then let everyone pursue how best they can fill the needs and desire of society.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:26 PM

9. LOL




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Response to snooper2 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:30 PM

15. Laugh at FDR then

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.



http://www.fdrheritage.org/bill_of_rights.htm

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:02 PM

26. well put. A healthy, well-rounded society would do this.

and indeed, in breeding healthy, well-rounded citizens, imagine -- as a bonus -- how much less snark you'd get on Internet discussion threads!

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:04 PM

28. I think what you and possibly FDR are missing is that most people are assholes

Given the chance to not contribute to society they won't.

Bryant

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:16 PM

59. what should that basic amount be? nt

 

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:44 AM

81. Most people will choose to contribute by sitting in front of the television.

With technological changes and automation of labor it may come to that being inevitable anyway, but let us not pretend that there are vast amounts of untapped creative energies just waiting for a chance to be released -- the average person is and has always been a dolt.

Those with a creative and artistic vision worthy of the name create already, regardless of their work status.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:08 PM

120. "...let everyone pursue how best they can fill the needs and desire of society"

 

There's already an incentive-based system that does this. It's called supply and demand. If society has a desire/demand then the ones who fulfill this best earn a living wage (or more). If society has a strong desire/demand for artwork... people who produce artwork sucessfully will earn living wages... those who fail to meet the demand will either contribute differently or fall by the wayside.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:26 PM

10. Everybody should be paid a living wage.

Nobody who works the equivalent of full-time should have to be poor. That includes artists. However, if their work sucks maybe they'll never make more than just enough to survive, which will encourage them to find something they are actually good at.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:42 PM

53. So if I've got a decent amount saved up, can I then become an "artist" so I can get the essentials

 

paid for?

Sounds like a cushy deal to me.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:27 PM

12. Yes, if they work hard to sell it.

There is nothing about "art" that is easy. I know great artists who paint in their basements and are too scared to go out and have an art show and make money, and I know mediocre artists who make 6 figures because they know how to sell/market their work.

Art is great but nobody should ever expect to just "make money" by creating art. You have to be a good salesperson and know how to market yourself and your product. Many artists actually sell more units by RAISING their prices, because people who buy art like it more if it's more expensive.

It's an interesting business but definitely people shouldn't just get paid because they are artists. They have to produce something that people are willing to pay for.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:27 PM

13. Most artists have 'real' jobs to supplement their meager income

from producing artwork/music, until the point when they can either survive off of the artwork they produce for a clientele they've built over the years, or else they do something more lucrative, but also art-related.

This is how it's basically always been for artists. See La Boheme, as an example of what I mean.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:28 PM

14. Personally, I would just like the economy to be healthy

So my work would sell.

The first thing that goes in a failing economy is art, and it's the last to recover.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:32 PM

17. Depends, who do they work for ... no?

If you are self employed, should you be "guaranteed" a living wage?

What if you are a graphic artist, working for a company with a web site?

If you are a free-lance writer, should you be "guaranteed" a living wage?

What if you are a writer for Huffpo? The NY Times?

As for what a "real" artist is, the point is moot. Anyone can claim the title. There are no official qualifications, no certifications.

We recently went to DC and visited the art museums. In theEast building, we came across three large canvases, each covered in a single color.

My 18 year old son asked "so what's this, three big squares in different colors ... what's it supposed to be?" I said "Some art is intended to make you think, or feel something".

He said ... "I'm thinking that shortly after painting these, the artist starved to death. And now I feel bad for him. Maybe he should have painted houses."







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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:49 PM

21. Actually, there are official qualifications and certifications.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Fine_Arts
A Master of Fine Arts (MFA, M.F.A.) is a graduate degree typically requiring 2–3 years of postgraduate study beyond the bachelor's degree (BFA), although the term of study will vary by country or by university. The MFA is usually awarded in visual arts, creative writing, filmmaking, dance, or theatre/performing arts. Coursework is primarily of an applied or performing nature with the program often culminating in a major work or performance.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:15 PM

66. My father was an artist, and he held none of those classifications.

He was self taught. Worked mainly in charcoal, pastels, and at times oil.

He did many portraits of people we knew when I was a kid. He was often hired to do so because people had seen his work.

My point is that anyone can claim the title of artist. And, others can apply it to you as well. People would say ... "we know this artist ... " meaning my father.

My point was really about the "living wage" aspect of this discussion.

If you go back and read it again, my point was that a self-employed artist (like my father) probably will not be paid a living wage, per se.

However, an artist working in a business setting will be more likely to be paid a salary of some kind. But the OP isn't referring to them at least not if I read them correctly.

An artist can have a stack of degrees, and those do not necessarily make their artwork (paintings) more valuable. And that's why I said the point is moot.

As far as I am aware, people do not purchase pieces of art because the artist has degrees. The artwork in question needs something else to make it valuable.


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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #66)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:27 PM

69. That "something else" is at the heart of it, isnt it?

I could teach anybody how to draw in one fifteen minute lesson. The rest is just practice. I obviously haven't seen your father's work, but if he or anybody else taught themselves how to make a representational image they are teaching themselves four hundred year old technology.

Artmaking is cultural research and development. In today's hypermaterialistic culture the very concept seems alien. That's why modern (and postmodern) art seems so esoteric and out of touch with people's everyday lives. 99.9% of the images people see every day were produced by a corporation to generate revenue. That's not really what art is designed to do.

Art, in a nutshell, is anything made that gives a deeper insight into the human condition. It prompts us to ask. "why". A terminal degree in art means one has gained proficiency in developing things that ask that question. That's why art and religion frequently butt heads. They're both trying to do the same thing. And religion doesn't like the competition.

Artmaking isn't about eye to hand coordination or even about eye to subject acuity. Qiadraplegics make accurate images with their teeth. It's about our relationship to the world, each other, and ourselves and how to define and describe it at any given point in time. That's What those letters symbolize.

Unfortunately there's not much of a market for cultural development right now, is there? The powers that be like things just the way they are. That's why they're conservatives. Artists, just like all the rest of the misfits that can't find a place on the wage slave payroll, need to be able to survive well enough to stop and think about where were going and what it means. Without that our future will always be dictated to us by those who don't spend their days with their noses to the grindstone just to stay alive.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:09 PM

30. This in an excellent example of why critical thinking should be taught in school...

alongside the arts.

My 18 year old son asked "so what's this, three big squares in different colors ... what's it supposed to be?" I said "Some art is intended to make you think, or feel something".


Because neither of you could fathom the artist's intent or even a reason behind the art work.

And no slap at either of you, but I find that very sad.


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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:17 PM

123. I visited MOMA in NYC a year or two ago with my wife... LOL!

 

Is there some decent art there? Yes.

But the majority of it is really a WTF experience and a good deal of it is just plain laughable. I kind of felt like an asshole when I audibly chuckled at the the first few pieces that were very bizzare. By the end of MOMA my feelings of shame/asshole had been completely exhausted and it was just about better than the best comedy club NYC has to offer. Lot's of laughs - some of the captions to the artwork is priceless. About the only thing to get you to stop laughing is the realizatoin that someone earned real money making "it".

Take your son to MOMA... totally worth it!

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:52 PM

22. Everyone should be guaranteed what they need to survive

And the opportunity for education and the ability to reach their full potential.

Beyond that, what an artist can get for their work is their business so long as they aren't behaving unethically and/or violating the rights of others.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:59 PM

24. Yes

No volume requirement.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:03 PM

27. They are in other countries and other cultures. Of course those places provide a social safety net.

In Amerika, Social Darwinism rules the day.

People in other parts of the world seem to grasp the idea that art and science (in both instances describing the urge to discover) go hand in hand to help a culture and a country thrive.

Einstein understood this intuitively: "After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well."

But here, we don't value either the arts or the sciences. We look down on people who use their minds along with their hands because somehow that is too complicated. We'd rather have a binary system where you either work with your hands in an "honest hardworking blue collar job" or as "an educated elite".

Canada:
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/573263--7-ways-to-support-artists

The Nordic Model:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:u87yk7mYN0IJ:www.ifacca.org/files/NordicModelSupportingArtists.pdf+countries+which+support+artists&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjMTJYKN3BkT2yqC6ujv5omYUW10nh-xWYNs1xxer1MUsX7KnaUgbh7xx1KwBvNTt1WLyh4PTchCy6zD2W20AzB0HBzCEvbAStzUXCI5GDvmopQ_B_rRwb9hbLsGRBIk2pwmLTd&sig=AHIEtbRoy9b7yo0vu6BVjeGWR0Nb4XvvwQ


Online Book: Why are Artists Poor?
http://books.google.com/books/about/Why_Are_Artists_Poor.html?id=DukoxJd3SZ0C

Financing the Arts and Culture in the EU:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:aotxYW9eNjQJ:www.culturalpolicies.net/web/files/134/en/Financing_the_Arts_and_Culture_in_the_EU.pdf+do+European+visual+artist+get+government+support?+lottery&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjuW7GEaeV38mfF9rcWqj259UGdIBs33Te6e2UzQ6W86gJpFSSJuHOMV9c7PW0sRlrS-HJCA_3Vmf9VIMoLko0IDdW_KsX3-zQTxjYjrT4vYn4aQn6LPxoEj3nEuyDMz3e7ll9g&sig=AHIEtbT-t-i76vsIaAbyMoOkbp1mRJfz_g

Where subsidies, grants and awards are provided to artists, along with a strong social safety net. The study finds the government, in general to be the largest supporter of the arts and of artists.



I've got no feed back on "how much" other than basic healthcare, rent subsidies and food aid.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:18 AM

88. I don't see anything about a living wage in any of those links.

 

The income averaging is interesting.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:10 PM

31. No, because anyone can call themselves an "artist".

So a "living wage for artists" really means "free money for anyone who wants it".

Having said that, I would not take away unemployment benefit from someone just because they paint a few pictures and try to sell them.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:19 PM

32. Depends on the artist's talent, training and work ethic

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:31 PM

33. Every artist has to decide how much of the marketplace s/he will allow into the studio.

It's pretty easy to sell anything that tells people what they want to hear. Much like the restaurant business, if you get enough salt, fat and sugar in the product people will eat it. Spinach doesn't move as fast. That's the difference between Kincaid's "light paintings" and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Art is one of the few products that is designed and produced without any previously established market. The market for any work that creates an existential dilemma in anyone is small to non existent, not when people can find any number of comfort zones with a few mouse clicks. It won't expand until society experiences enough difficulty for the people who can afford to buy art start to start to ask, "why is this happening to me?" As it stands now we are so hyper-materialistic the content issues addressed by the arts just won't command much interest and by extension much of a price.

Our current culture only rewards the desire for monetary gain. Such are the times. Financial security is only one part of the requirements of a happy and healthy life. Art is basically cultural research and development. Just like any other R&D the benefits of that research may not be immediately apparent but are nevertheless indispensable for the survival of any culture. The great malaise of our times is anomie in no small part because the social systems that are supposed to help us answer the question "why" don't have a cogent answer or even a way to properly ask the question.

So, yes, artists deserve a living wage. Certainly as much as anybody else. Artmaking is hard work and necessary to the health of our culture. That wage should be attached to quality, and there is an infrastructure in place to evaluate that quality. But that infrastructure won't function without the an enlightened public to make it work. As usual, education is the real solution to the problem.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:33 PM

34. Impractical, but we should definitely bring back NEA grants to individual artists

These grants were scuttled in the 1990s, after many years, by the Gringrich culture wars ("we don't want our tax dollars paying for naughty or irreverent images!"). The grants were adjudicated by panels of distinguished peers in the various artistic fields (painting and sculpture, film and video, photography, music, etc.). Why should they be given? Because artists are workers, and, especially as they are emerging, need money not only to buy the materials they need to produce their work (paint and canvas, bronze or Cor-Ten steel, film processing or video cameras, computers or synthesizers) but to live on while they focus solely on creating. Because once they have the means to produce a body of work, free of waiting tables or driving cabs or teaching, they can then enter the market with an imprimatur from the nation's arts agency and be free to sell to earn their incomes.

Unless we have a program like the WPA Artist's program (many famous artists got their start there) that provides a wage, it is impractical to say they should earn a living wage (from whom?). But one-to-two-year grants or stipends, awarded by esteemed panels of other artists, can give them the credentials and working-space they need to set themselves free in the marketplace.

It's a shame how putzy and small the National Endowment for the Arts has become. I remember that Wesley Clark made the reinstitution of individual artists' grants a part of his campaign when he was running for president. I loved him for that. Well, fat chance in hell for both him and the grants.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #34)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:18 AM

89. How much should the grants be? nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:34 PM

35. Everyone should be paid a living wage.

Who decides who gets to live like a human being or not?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:39 PM

36. Not necessarily, BUT

in a fair & kind society, they would be provided with a safety net that would allow them to BE artists, and still have a life.


Many (most?) true artists are driven to DO their art, and will willingly sacrifice to do it. If they had universal health care (like everyone in that society), and perhaps subsidized housing ( as many nations routinely do for their poorer folks), and a guaranteed old-age stipend, they could then concentrate on their art and work small/occasional lower- pay jobs (as many do already) to afford the very basics...and perfect their art.

Many artists give themselves a time limit already, and if their art does not "take off", they routinely move into "regular society". Their art stays with them, but they then move it to hobby, rather than career.


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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:41 PM

37. Interesting question. One time,

after my freelance writing career got going pretty well, I was asked to give a talk on making a living with writing for a writer's conference. About 200 people were in the audience.

I did my best to tell people how I had turned writing into a non-fiction magazine writing career and gave a bunch of tips. At the end of the talk, I asked if there were any questions.

This guy stood up from the middle of the audience and said, "Aren't you prostituting yourself for money? I write poetry as an art form."

My answer was, "I write for a living. What do you do for a living?"

His response: "I work in an art supply store."

The rest of the questions were more pertinent.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:54 PM

38. If an artist, artisan, brick layer, dentist, hair stylist, etc. cannot support themselves with their

 

chosen craft, maybe they need to switch careers to something that provides that support.

But to say "Artists will be paid a living wage" might just cause non-talented people to stake claim to the title "artist" just to receive that wage.

Thomas Kinkade, for example, seemed to have sold enough product to support himself, but some do not consider his work "art." But the fact remains, it sold.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:55 PM

39. They are part of "everyone" so I'm going with yes.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:10 PM

40. If they are just getting a living wage I'd say they need new representation....

Seems like not much money to me. It this a minimum you are thinking of? And what of the rights to the work? Who is the paying entity, and in the paying is that entity also getting some or all rights to the work produced?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:15 PM

41. Most artists I know, the ones that stay with it and become successful, make a lot more money

than a living wage. My DH knew a guy who got quite wealthy painting ships and harbors. Yet, he's not really famous and I frankly don't remember his name. I asked him once how he beat the starving artist in a garret stereotype and he replied, like with any form of art and entertainment you have to get a good agent.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:16 PM

42. The day we do, I'm quitting my job to become an artist

Basically, it would never work because everyone with a marginal opinion of their job is going to become an artist.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:16 PM

43. fdr did and around her we still have the post office murals that were painted in the 30s..

the photographers of the 30`s were paid by the government as were the recording engineers. just think of the images we would have never seen or the music we would have never heard. i`m sure there more examples that never made the level of what one would say great but then who is to decide what is and what isn`t.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #43)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:39 PM

47. Our post office too! I love it that we have that mural!

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #43)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:18 PM

61. There was a group of painters known as the Florida Highwaymen who did paintings of

 

Florida landscapes, many of which found their way into motel/restaurant lobbies and the like. IIRC they were in the 1950s to 1980s timeframe. Often, the paintings could be had for a mere $25, and now some are valued in the thousands.

More at http://www.floridahighwaymenpaintings.com/

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:33 PM

44. Sure same as everybody else should. Artists are a special breed, I know many, mostly musicians,

 

and one of the common threads that runs through all of them is that, while they have this/these enviable talents in the art they make, they are the most likely group I know to be singularly unsuited to dealing with the mundane world the rest of us live in.

Do we simply forgo the inspiration they provide simply because they can't manage their money or work on a schedule?

What kind of world do you want to live in?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:34 PM

45. Should an original poster respond to replies to a ridiculous proposition?

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #45)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:14 PM

58. not when he's out looking for an obscure car part all day

 

The point of the OP was to engender discussion and it seems to have worked nicely.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:38 PM

46. Why not? Look at what FDR did:

http://www.wwcd.org/policy/US/newdeal.html

We just tend not to know about it.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 05:58 PM

49. I'm not sure that "wage" is the proper measure

Sure, if someone is employed by a third person as an artist, he/she should be paid a "living wage." But if someone is self-employed, they aren't paid wages. They earn what they earn. If they can't earn enough from their art to live on, they may need to get another job -- one that pays a living wage.

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Response to onenote (Reply #49)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:16 AM

75. Ain't that the damn truth

Glen Campbell knew what he was talking about when he wrote the line " there's been a load of compromisin' on the road to my horizon". I've lived it, many times over

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:11 PM

51. It worked during the Great Depression.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:31 PM

52. fat chance

in the classical periods of Egypt, Greece and Rome, Artists were Rock Stars

i have been in the field for 40 years
i am embarrassed to reveal my total earnings in $$$
peace, kpete

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:45 PM

54. Fine artists should be paid based on what their talent produces -

- and what their public will spend. Art is in the eye of the beholder - what is crap to some is wonderful to others.

Volume requirements? Not unless they're employed by someone else who may require a specific amount of work. If they're self-employed, they can create when they want and charge what the public will pay until such time as they're content.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:51 PM

55. Everyone should be guaranteed the minimum needed to sustain their lives

the right level is what many of the social democracies in Europe provide.

in doing so, they have alleviated most of the effects of their poverty, while still having thriving economies.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #55)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:41 PM

72. Bingo. nt

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:52 PM

56. Of course ...

... and so should everybody else.

Back in art school, we (US students) were somewhat jealous of the Canadian students, who could more easily obtain small government grants for their work, even when they were just starting out. I wonder if they still do that in Canada.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:55 PM

57. Yes, my music should be subsidized.

 

And my poetry and short stories. I should be granted several million dollars a year for research, studio time and publication.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:18 PM

60. I would say yes. It's kind of sad really. Artists are among the most

exploited workers in the country. They love what they do, and because of that, they get cheated. You could argue that they chose their fate, but they shouldn't have to starve because they chose that particular career.

Now, it's easy to say "yes, they should be paid a living wage," but I'm sure there are many challenges to look at before such a thing could be done.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:37 PM

63. This guy did a Groupon and ended up selling about 1,000 drawings of cats!

So if they can sell it, great. If not, then I guess they don't get a "living wage".

http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.com/2010/12/web-developer-steve-gadlin-draws-1000.html

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:05 PM

65. Paid by who?

 

That is my question. If they have employers, sure. But I don't think the government should take over being the employers. For one I don't think anyone should get a living wage to make art, just because they say what they make is art. For two, I don't think the government should decide what art is. So why is paying this living wage?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:18 PM

67. In 1987, some "artist" dropped a crucifix in a jar of urine and photograped it

It was hailed as art. Does anyone honestly believe he should been paid for that? I sure don't.

If an artist has been commissioned to do a certain work, then I believe he should be paid a reasonable amount by the one who engaged him. Otherwise, the answer is no - art is too subjective.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #67)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:42 AM

77. So, you would live in a world where market value is the sole determinant of art?

 

Most people professing similar statements would have/had similar feeling regarding regarding Van Gogh. Was his work not art? Timothy Leary made quite a bit of money and his work was really nothing too difficult, but there was definitely a commentary behind it. What about his work?

Do you have to like something for it to have value?

What kind of a world do you want to live in? Gattica (to use a popular culture reference you are likely familiar with) is a very possible future, is that where you think we should go? Before you answer, realize with absolute certainty that you are not one of the few.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #77)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:07 AM

84. I would live in a world where market value should be the determinant of what an artist is paid.

Market value could be the value perceived by someone willing to hire the artist and commission a work, or the value the artist receives by selling his work to someone who wants to buy it.

While the OP is silent about who would pay a living wage, I interpreted it to mean it would be publically funded. There is no other context in which the question is arguable. The example I gave illustrates why I believe the answer is no. Many people found his "art" to be highly offensive (myself included) and would be appalled at paying anything out of public funds for it. Others would argue it's art and if public funding is available, he should receive. It's an argument I just don't want to have, so let's not go there.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #84)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:38 AM

91. Your idea would mean the world would never have known the beauty of Van Gogh, as just one example.

 

And as long as you've broached the subject, just when did get the right to decide, beyond the ballot, where our tax dollars go? I find nothing more offensive than my tax dollars paying for religious organizations to impose their superstitions on others, particularly women. I don't want to pay for useless, unnecessary, and ineffective weapons systems. I don't want to pay billions in corporate welfare programs, and so on.

Now if you want to advocate a system wherein we can designate where our money goes, I can go for that, but I think you won't like the results.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #91)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:03 PM

94. If your art isn't good enough for you to make a living on your own,...

why should taxpayers subsidize you? I like the model where artists are basically in business for themselves. If it were otherwise, art would become politicized, just like everything else that is publically funded.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #91)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:03 PM

103. Was Van Gogh paid a living wage by the government?

 

That's news to me.

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #103)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:26 PM

104. No he wasn't. He was, thankfully, sustained by his brother who also didn't like his work.

 

I think you're missing the point here.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #104)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:37 PM

105. No I got that you were trying to create a strawman

 

Sorry, but I just won't let you get away with it . I don't want the government supporting everyone who calls themselves an artist indefinitely, and I don't want the government deciding what is art. So what options does that leave us with?

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #105)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:13 PM

107. Got it, government bad, bootstraps good.

 

The point is about patronage, and government being the ostensibly neutral party, is the best alternative.

Sesame Street then, Harry Potter. I picked Van Gogh because he is acknowledged as one of the greatest never appreciated in his time, and thanks to the poster industry, even Americans are generally familiar with his work, but the list is both long and impressive. And when you're done looking into that you can start on the unmarketable pure research that has changed the world in too many ways to list that would never have happened w/o the government supporting it.

This purposeful obtuseness seems to be de rigueur here and adds nothing to actual discourse.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #107)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:22 PM

109. Where are you going with this?

 

Let me ask you this. Do you think the government should support EVERYONE who calls themselves an artist indefinitely? Or how does this work? If I label myself an artist tomorrow, I can go apply for this art "job" with the government and get paid more than I do right now? I mean that sounds great to me. So how does your little program work?

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #109)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:58 PM

112. So, are you saying you'd get rid of the NEA?

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #112)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:55 PM

118. I am saying that I don't think the government should decide what is art

 

Take that for what you will. By the way, artists have already sued the NEA on grounds that their not getting a grant was suppressing their freedom of speech, another inevitable problem.

Edited to add: The case in question was NEA v. Finley

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #118)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:10 PM

121. So, would you, if you were in gov't, advocate the closing of the NEA.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #121)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:12 PM

122. You forgot a comma

 

But in its current form yes. I would then spend the money that we would save and put it all into the education of the arts for our younger population. I am sure you will see that as some conservative conspiracy, but oh well.

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #122)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:22 PM

124. Yes, I forgot a comma.

You seem to jump to a lot of conclusions. Maybe you are a conservative. Maybe you're not. I didn't say either way in my posts.

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #109)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:26 PM

115. It's not a little program. I think Adam Smith created a brilliant system that taken in whole works,

 

or would work, beautifully. Unfortunately, like every other system created by great thinkers, it has yet to be implemented. He wrote fairly extensively on what is required for his idea to work and the two most important and ignored parts were, to use modern terminology, that there must be an inviolable safety net (I think of it as a floor rather than a net) and to prevent excessive accumulation of the wealth that that the system inevitably creates. Capitalism is the means to achieving an egalitarian society, I see no other system that can do it as well.

I'm not advocating a special status for artists, I advocate the abolition of deprivation in the U.S. now in the knowledge that it will spread throughout the world just as it began to 200+ years ago. A model based on willing cooperation rather than coercion.

If I can even remember any longer the original question was "should artists be paid a living wage?" & my reply was "sure, just like everybody else".

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #115)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:53 PM

117. I believe in equal pay for equal work

 

How are you going to ensure that artists are working for their wage?

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #117)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:29 PM

126. How are you going to define equal work? It's relative.

 

I also don't think there is any correlation between hours spent and results achieved, thus the floor. Everything after that is individually variable.

Put it like this, a neurosurgeon has a very specific and relatively rare skillset, a trash collector has a completely different and much more common skillset. In a societal context the trash collector's skills are much more important than the neurosurgeon's, who should be preferred?

This why I think that society's role is to set a standard of living, ensure an equitable playing field, tax excessive accumulation to bring that excess back to support or even raise that standard, and get out of the way.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #126)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:49 PM

127. My point exactly

 

I don't think the government should be making that call either. I don't agree with supporting someone forever who has no intention of supporting themselves. I have written and researched a great deal in my spare time, I suppose one could call this arts. I have even performed Shakespeare in my spare time (albeit a small role). It is possible to do artistic work in your spare time, I don't think the government should support someone solely for claiming they do artistic work. While I don't mind the idea of a floor, I think that should come with a provision that the person intends to do real, measurable work, sometime in the near future.

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Response to aspieextrodinare (Reply #127)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:34 PM

129. I think this would be an excellent topic to discuss further.

 

What are the rules regarding OT discourse here?

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #67)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:18 AM

130. Yikes, this sounds like right-wing drivel from 1993

Or the people who look at a Jackson Pollock painting and say, "my kid could have done that."?

Only people who don't understand art make statements like that. Maybe the OP's question should have been: should all students be required to take art history and theory in school?

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Response to frazzled (Reply #130)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:00 PM

131. So why don't you explain what makes it so artistic

I've been a serious photograper for almost 40 years and leaving the offensive aspects of Serrano's photograph aside, it's not particularly good. I understand using different lighting arrangements, use of soft focus, contrast, monochrome and a lot of other things that go into a technically good photograph. I recognize good composition when I see it. My tastes in photography are diversified: I personally do mostly landscapes, but I also do macro work, portraits and an occasional attempt at still life shots. I've subscribed to photography magazines for decades and have looked at hundreds of award winning photos that all use light in creative ways. I understand photography and have an informed opinion about it.

In my opinion, the picture was hailed as art because a number people (who are mostly ignorant about photography) wanted to demonstrate how open-minded they were by looking past the highly offensive subject matter and seeing a great photograph where none existed. If Serrano had put anything but a crucifix in the jar, the picture would not have been hailed; it would have been thrown in the garbage.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:58 PM

68. Why is it OK to judge one person's profession and not another's?

If someone who makes the decision to drop out of high school and work at McDonalds deserves a fair wage, then someone who makes the conscious decision to become an artist deserves a fair wage as well.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #68)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:10 AM

86. For emplyed or self-employed artists? nt

 

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #68)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:52 PM

111. Thank you!

I feel like I'm on a right-wing forum reading all the hostility toward artists here.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:30 PM

70. By whom? nt

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:36 PM

71. Yes, if they are an employee.

No, if they are working for themself, since they are an entreprenuer, and carry the risk of little income.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:23 AM

73. Kinkade was a "real artist"...

...as much as anyone who claims to be. He made "art," and many, many people bought it, that was his cover story.

Regarding other artists, whether the individual artist makes any money or can even survive being an artist, is an entirely different issue which may or may not depend on the "art" being produced by the artist - it could be great art with no marketing, or shit art with great marketing, or any combination/variation thereof, with financial results having nothing to do with what is "art" or is not.

However, no self-identified/employed "artist" is owed a living any more than any other person in any other occupation..

I have made a living for over 35 years as an artist and musician.

I do a lot of different things, from fine art, to commercial art; using traditional methods and techniques and/or digital; to silkscreen printing and hand painting on a multitude of garments available in your local department stores and boutiques; to buying/selling other people's art; to composing/arranging and playing live/recording and releasing indie music.

If you've seen, for example, "The Phantom," you've seen my costume graphics on the Billy Zane "Phantom" character.

If you've gone to an art gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, you may have seen a painting I made.

If you go on Ebay, you may find me selling my - or somebody else's - artwork.

If you've listened to obscure punk/alternative rock/americana from 1979 to now, you may have heard my music (admittedly not likely, but definitely possible).

I also work with other artists, both visual and musical, on projects they need help with.

Etc. Etc.

Just to get by/make a living.

The one thing I have not done, unlike the late Mr. Kinkade, is defraud anybody in the process of making a living as an artist.

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Response to GReedDiamond (Reply #73)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:32 AM

76. You seem like as interesting person. I have 2 questions for you, if you are willing.

 

From where do you get your idea that no one is owed a living?

How does one define what art is, let alone who is an artist?

These are two of a very long list of questions I have sought answers to for many years, and appreciate any input.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #76)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:41 AM

92. Response...

...what I said was, no artist is owed a living any more than any other person with any other kind of occupation. Being an "artist" does not confer special privileges. I exclude from that, those who are incapable, for whatever reason, of "earning a living." For example, that would include some, but not all, physically disabled people or those with significant psychological or mental disorders. Those people may need varying degrees of assistance which can only be provided, in most cases, through taxpayer funded programs administered by government.

Generally speaking, I do not believe that artists need government funding to be artists, but I am not opposed to government funding for arts programs and projects. I think that FDR's use of artists on public works projects was a good idea and helped to improve lots of peoples' lives.

On your second question, like I said, I believe anyone may label them self an artist, and work as such, whether anybody else accepts that job description or not. There are "bad" artists who make large sums of money, there are "great" artists who sell nothing, and die trying to live their lives while fulfilling their artistic visions. Kinkade is regarded by many as an example of the former, Van Gogh, the classic example of the latter.

Then there are the vast majority of artists who often toil in obscurity, perhaps able to get by comfortably, but never attain notoriety or fame. And "art workers" who do art-related jobs, sometimes for large sums of money, sometimes not, but who almost nobody has ever heard of.

If one attends "art school," he or she is presented with concepts and techniques for creating art which are standardized according to the accomplishments of previous artists who may have pioneered those methods through their own work, which is why some artists are held in higher regard and importance than others. I suspect that Kinkade will not be held as an example of an important artist whose methodologies and techniques for painting are worthy of passing on to future generations of artists, although, if they taught marketing and promotion in art school, he may get some notice on how to become a household name. Too bad, though, that Kinkade felt that he must resort to fraudulent business practices in order to become as wealthy as he did. Because of that, I would remove him from any curriculum dealing with the business aspects of art, and turn to financially successful artists such as Picasso or Warhol, who knew how to promote and market their work, which is also regarded by most art scholars and educators as artistically significant and worthy of teaching to art students.

So, defining what is art, and who may be regarded as an artist, I leave to those who are involved in it on a day-to-day basis, and those who consume (or reject) the objects/products produced.

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Response to GReedDiamond (Reply #92)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:10 PM

96. Thanks. Did you know that The Constitution specifies the power to

 

fund the arts? It's in Article 1 IIRC.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #96)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:20 PM

97. I said that I support govt funding...

...for arts programs and projects.

I personally would not apply for govt grants for an art project, but I know a couple of artists here in Los Angeles who often apply for and receive funding for public art projects.

From Article 1, Section 8:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Is that the section you refer to?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:58 AM

78. No, and I am an artist

Far too many people with fancy digital cameras think they are the next Ansel Adams. Brushes, paints, panels, and canvasses, are quite easy to obtain.

I do festivals and various shows. Virtually anywhere you want to exhibit costs money or takes a significant slice out of sales. Folks who take this on as a hobby interest quickly find something far cheaper and perhaps more productive to do with their time. You don't want to guarantee a wage because there is some extent that economics winnows the field in a necessary manner.

Not everything that sells is good art and not everything that fails to sell is bad art. However there is alot of bad art out there which also does not sell, and this is a very good thing.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:13 AM

80. Artists should be paid for what ever they can sell

whether is prices either set by them or percentages they are able to negotiate from distributors. They pretty much should be paid the way same other people/business sell things in a mostly free market capitalist marketplace.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:51 AM

82. I am an artist. Everyday, all day, I create beauty.

I work in salvaged stained glass scrap, and have enough supplies to last me the rest of my productive life and enough to share with the community to teach, engage, and inspire.

I will only create x amount of art in my time, I am 47 and already feel how my body won't be able to haul supplies around, or stand for hours over a light table.
My art is collected and expensive.
There are large chunks of time when I am not working on a commissioned piece and this I use to keep right on creating and not trying to please a client.
In my studio I have a large body of unseen work that stacks up and then I have to put it somewhere with windows and hope the right person sees it and wants to own one.
I take payments over time, and I also work within peoples budgets. In my mind, if someone loves it, they should have it.
People are always asking me to donate art for them to auction off.
If I had money, I would donate money. I have art, so I donate my art to help different charities raise money for things I support.

It is a constant struggle, tooting my own horn, trying to sell art, wishing for something good to happen.
I do it because it how I am alive how i am human how I share my gifts and how my heart beats.

http://www.wix.com/daviea/daviea

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Response to babydollhead (Reply #82)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:08 PM

95. Fantastic stuff you have, there

Keep up the good work!

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Response to IDemo (Reply #95)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:34 PM

100. thank you!

I have a glass pile behind my garage. It's at least two feet deep, ten feet wide, and as long as the 2 car garage. I collected it for years when it was just dumped in a heap outside of a glass factory, I am digging through that now, six years later, and finding the most glorious reds oranges and purples all in scrap of glass. I was lost out there just now. so happy. now, to the light table. Hope you have joy and disappear into it from time to time. Hope everybody does.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:14 AM

87. Should everybody be paid a living wage?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:20 AM

90. Being an artist is a calling...

And you are at the whims of the public.

I know a lot of artists, I have done tax returns for many artists over the 25 years I have been preparing taxes, and they all worked their asses off and did what it took to be able to work on their art.

The public defines what is art.

Still, I like the idea of the National Endowment for the arts.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:54 AM

93. ...is answered and addressed in this context I think

"Should artists be paid a living wage...?"

...is answered and addressed to my satisfaction (in this particular context) I think, by the nineteenth century dictum, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" as penned by Karl Marx in 'Criticism of the Gotha Program'

In ancient Greece, poets, writers and painters were spared from all taxation and military services by Solon the Lawgiver (and through tradition, far beyond) for "their words lift up the nation beyond what gold and salt can do." Medieval bards were, as the sole (practical) mechanism for any form of news from outside the village, were given high honors in both peasant village and royal court-- their immediate needs catered to by those whom they happened upon. The renaissance saw a sea-change in this, and the practice of being patronage, thus absolving them of any artistic and financial responsibility, yet placing them in a virtual indentured servitude-- much as is done today... we merely replace family or town with free market, however the results are the same.



I think my answer would be that everyone should be paid a living wage-- including painters. However, I have no objective or set amount on what that living wage should be as regional and even sub-urban difference in wages can fluctuate to sometimes dramatic degrees.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #93)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:50 PM

110. Artists can claim exemption from income tax in the Rep. of Ireland

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #93)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:42 PM

116. That's it right there. Thank you. n/t

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:20 PM

98. Beat Plowshares into Paint Brushes?

From cave paintings to our earliest cities. Art was recognized as important. But impossible without all the necessities of life having been previously taken care of. The question for society isn't really what an individual artist should be paid bet what society is willing to collectively spend on the arts.

A secondary issue is the inequality in payments amongst artists. A Lionel Richie and a Ron Howard show that people are willing to collectively spend considerable sums on art. But should Lionel Richie's earnings be controlled so that some of what is paid for his performances is instead spread to all other musicians across the country? Or in the extreme should he be paid the same as a street performer in a subway station?

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:26 PM

99. Yes, but they are small business owners in essence.


They are free to pay themselves whatever they wish out of the revenue generated by their business.

Unless they work for someone else, then they working for themselves.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:20 PM

108. Artists are paid a living wage, if they choose to do commercial work.

Advertising, concept art for movies and games... there are lots of avenues for artists to make money. If your work is personal and not meant to appeal to any commercial niche, there's no reason to expect to be paid for it. Any artist up until relatively modern times assumed as much, which is why so much of western art was religiously-themed.

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Response to Marr (Reply #108)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:58 PM

128. My dad is an artist. His career was teaching.

Now he's retired which makes him a full time artist.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:25 PM

114. Yes--everyone should be paid a living wage.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:59 PM

119. No... by whom would they be paid?

 

An artist is essentially self employed/entrepreneur and good art is extremely subjective. Just because one is dedicated to a career as an artist (freelance) does not entitle them to ANY wage.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:22 PM

125. Yes.

 

By the people buying their art.

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