Blog: Valuing Art

Christine Alfery

Posted on May 09 2018

Blog: Valuing Art

Featured image: She's Riding High

How is art today valued? What I value in art is often at odds with what culture values in art. Is there one right set of values for art or are there many? To answer this question I find myself asking who will benefit from these values we place on art? The artist? The viewer? The purchaser? The interior designer?

Frequently when an artist is asked these questions their answers seem to always center upon themselves as an artist. I the artist should benefit from the values of art if I am making/creating the work. I hear statement like; “I like what I am doing and I value the time I spend with my work.”

When asked why artists choose to become artist the answer varies but the key factor in all answers is the artists self and how they personally “feel” when they create. When you hear an artist talk about their work they answer is always peppered with a 1000 “I” ‘s. So when an artist is asked what do they value in art it seems to me that the answer should be myself.

Because the artists self is so exposed in their work, if it is not then I question the value of the work, it is easy for others to attempt to “use” art for their own personal gain and to enrich themselves, empower themselves by engulfing the artist into their values and projects. The artist in the process gives up the power of the self and shares it with another. In the process the artist gives up notions of uniqueness, and originality. I always, always find that I ask myself, why oh why would an artist do that?

The answer, not all want a be artists value those traits and have no idea what they are giving away and have no idea that they destroy the very thing that makes art so valuable. The self. These want a be artists are happy repeating the techniques of others, and living in the aesthetic moments of bliss, unaware that their power, their uniqueness is being drained from them.

The true artist needs to be selfish. Since our culture does not provide an “easy” way for artists to survive it is easy for the artist to fall into the trap of making and selling what others want and like. If that happens then artist gives up the very thing that makes art and artist what and who they are and what they value.

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