Sunday, May 2, 2021

Is There Too Much Art?

Think Reset asks: "I have a difficult question to ask. As I sometimes wonder [about] the meaning of life and so on. The question is; Is there already enough Art? Referring to how many amazing artists have come before, and how many there are alive now. Open Instagram and you’ll find an infinite amount of talented artist[s] of all types."
Daumier, An Artist in Front of His Canvas

You're right: there are a lot of talented artists out there now, and there always have been. Many of them are doing art that's skillfully executed and new and exciting and original, art that speaks to our times. 

Artists will always emerge to produce the art that people hunger for. It might appear in the form of a comic book, a movie, a painting, or an animated meme. The revolutions in social media and digital tools have lowered the barriers to creating art and have facilitated distribution to whatever group wants to consume it. Those forces have increased the volume of work. I don't know if the average quality is any better than in a world of gatekeepers but it's much easier for an artist to develop a following. 

Societies are energized by art. Art makes a big claim on our attention and it's a big part of our economy. In capitalist societies there will always be powerful marketing forces pushing art products that may or may not be very relevant or creative. Sometimes the great art of our time will come from these mainstream businesses, and sometimes it will come from the margins.

Is there too much art? Well, there's probably too much of the same art, art that is dull, unoriginal, or poorly executed. That stuff will fall away and be forgotten. But the world will always be hungry for the work of a person of vision. If you have something to express, learn your craft, aim high, and do your best.


David King said...

I don't claim to have a "vision" or really be special in any significant way but as the saying goes "There is always someone for everybody" or more appropriately for this discussion "There is always a buyer for every piece of art". Well, maybe not always but usually. It doesn't happen often, but even though my art is relatively common in subject and style I have had customers tell me they've searched thousands of images to find my art, for whatever reason my art spoke to them specifically over thousands of other pieces of art. For whatever that's worth.

Marina said...

There can never be too much art. Art is at the source of civilisation. It can come in infinite forms—even a drawing in the sand with a stick provides its creator with pleasure, and maybe a few people around him too.

Kyushu said...

Kathy Bush says, That’s like saying we should close the patent office because everything worth making has been invented. Creativity knows no bounds and continuously amazes us. Why discourage the next Van Gogh or Di Vinci. Time will tell. As for modest painters, everyone deserves to explore their creativity nature. It’s good for the soul.

Unknown said...

I asked the same question after visiting Peabody Essex Museum. So many green scenes until I paused by cubist... sails? trees? I just knew the world didn't need another landscape painter! I would paint people. I studied abstracts at AWS April in NYC. New me.
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Jane Word Taylor said...

Making art is not only about the product!

Greg said...

I make art for the heck of it; or art for art's sake; or Arf for Arf's sake (rip Dave Stevens)