Tuesday, June 05, 2012

State Of The Art Address

We got too good and too cheap and now just fuck eachother over. Very exciting clothes and very exciting haircuts are available to very unexciting people. At some point the dike broke and everything just spilled from the internet and washed away the surf shops, leaving everyone confused and disoriented.

Are bad artists still toiling away somewhere to become better artists? Almost certainly. Is good art being produced? As much if not more than ever before. Is good art being over-reproduced? gaddamn fuck yeah it fucken is. Talking about seeing 'Andre the Giant Has a Posse' posters being stuck over local shitty graffiti, talking about local bands printing gig posters with the art of Shohei. Or posters for club nights using the iconic photos of Biggie. And every boring cunt wearing a shirt from threadless. What are we all thinking?!?!?!?!?!??????

It's actually even more boring than before, because exciting people haven't gotten any more exciting in absolute terms, they are still up to speed with the cutting edge, dress in clever well designed clothing, can spot an op-shop find and seeing obscure underground acts from around the world when they pass through our cities. They are still being inspired by the best the world has to offer. Just everybody else is too. It's like the only ingredient left in our pantries is hundreds of thousands, and nobody is paying for it.

So much noise, so little money. On the positive, those that will stick with art are the ones that do it for love. On the negative, those that stick with it will have to fight tooth and nail just to get art done. When I saw the Shohei poster, I'm not even morally indignant that they are stealing some artists work. If somebody stole my images for a poster I'd probably be bemused and flattered. The thing is that I would do that poster for free, or for a copy of an EP, or for my name on the door to the gig. Or just plain free. What am I to do now that I have to compete against the worlds best artist for the shitty local gig's shitty local gig? Offer to pay them to do their poster? Shohei is strangling my market and he isn't even getting paid. He doesn't even know, he is taking a godzilla like stroll and crushing not me per se, but the shitty artist friend of the band they don't even think to ask.

The Shephard Farey posters I'm sure were part of a commercial 'guerrilla marketing' campaign and hopefully, for all our sakes, not the work of somebody who thought they were being creative (including Shephard Farey, btw I can't be bothered looking up how to spell his name correctly). But art has always been a winner take all business, and more people shuffle past the Mona Lisa in the Louvre than any other painting and any other gallary, year after year for as long as anybody can remember. And our patrons, the public, the plebs etc aren't wrong in demanding (subconsciously) the best the world has to offer. The thing is though that the plebs are now the fucking same in every fucking city and town in the world, and they must soon tire of art itself.

People hate competition because they don't realise how much they love it. The prevelant attitude 'I love graffitti when it is done well, but I can't stand those "tags" they are just vandalism' bespeaks the general ignorance of where good art comes from. Good art comes from bad art. To dispense with bad art and just consume the good is to live as unsustainably as we do with every material resource. The supply won't get replinished. Every graphic designer/skater/dj will give up and default in months not years and almost none of these douchebags will survive and evolve into decent fucking artists/creators/producers, they will have 450 business cards left instead of 120 when they resign themselves to a real job. Only the prodigies will flourish under the current consumption habits, and prodigies have limitations - all execution, no ideas.

Where, where do I suggest we start reversing the trend? Artists should support artists, and stop fucking eachother over. I'm not even talking about the big international artists, I'm sure they already do enough. I'm talking about shitty local artists looking to eachother, buying eachothers art, going to eachothers launches, going to eachothers gigs (and not just because you are their support act), creating a scene again that you own rather than a collection of people imitating the same gold standard. Because people don't need to buy crappy imitations anymore when they can just steal the real thing. 

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