Subject Matter Art

01.12.2017

Subject Matter believes: Three good reasons why for artists *money* is not a dirty word

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The stereotype of the artist working solely for the love of his craft, existing on nothing but air, and living in rooms they cannot afford to heat has perpetuated for many decades. In previous centuries rich patrons would step in and support their artists financially, but in the modern world fewer and fewer artists can make a living from their art.

 

Why is this?

 

Maybe it stems from the Romantic myth of the artist-genius who needs nothing more to survive than creativity and inspiration?

 

Maybe it comes from the conviction that Art must be something we cannot monetize because it would mean turning the experience of beauty into a commodity?

 

And maybe there is also a widespread assumption that the revenues generated by creative labour are just minor contributions to the wider economy and financial markets?

 

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The end result is that artists are not considered legitimate workers, and therefore it is uncomfortable for artists and creative workers in general to engage with the word *money*.
Which is crazy given that centuries ago artists were some of the first entrepreneurs.

 

We think that such taboos should be broken. We don’t believe artists should be afraid of talking about money and here’s why:

 

BECAUSE AVOIDING A PROBLEM IS NOT THE SOLUTION

 

Public actions calling for fairer pay for artists have been successful. The #payingartists campaign found that 71% of artists were not receiving payment for exhibiting in publicly funded galleries. Two years after launching the campaign, and after extensive consultation and testing, the Exhibition Payment Guide has now been published to support fair payment for artists.

 

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BECAUSE ARTISTS ARE PLAYERS IN THE ART MARKET, TOO

 

Cultural organisations and practitioners contributed £27bn to the UK economy in 2015, a 15% increase on the previous year.

 

BECAUSE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO STOP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE

 

All artists – whatever their medium – need to buy expensive materials to keep creating their art. If we don’t value artistic work enough to buy a painting or a photograph for what it is actually worth, or if we don’t even consider buying art at all because we think it is unnecessary, it is obvious that there will be fewer artists in the world.

 

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So…
the more we buy art;
the more young talents will want to become artists in their future;
the more art will become part of our everyday life;
and the happier we will all be!

 
Article by Clelia Guareschi

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