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Why are non-materialistic people often the keenest to profit from Art?

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Why are non-materialistic people often the keenest to profit from Art? Perhaps they need the dinero to bankroll a 'game-changing' iconoclastic revolution in creativity, 'offering a service' that unless society sees in pounds schillings and pence, won't counternance. Therefore 'public ignorance is a badge of honour spent on extravagance and ephemera all in protest at the footballer's funny money that kills inspiration unless you kill it first. In these terms there is a likelihood that a lot of Artist's have to tackle losing their focus because of temptation and know one has the right answer, but here are a few of mine: don't be a good Artist, refuse to sell, ignore the trappings of the Art market by stigmatizing your work.The Art establishment works very differently than the political counterpart, but violent or political taboo ignorers, side with the old-fashioned (Ken Loach etc), or take measures to undervalue your work, or be naive. Remember, that the Art market is not sentimental or extravagant, and could double-think you. There may be certain galleries, agents etc who will deliberately not promote your work because it may think that you'll do better work without the Art market interfering - yes there are Art people who put Art first and profit second, so get used to it.In fact it might seem harsh, but sacrifice is at the very epi-centre of Art, as is the freedom. Art can only act as a refreshing and original insight to life when it reveals its 'clairvoyance'. This isn't universally experienced and is not 'splash-it-all-over' easy access thing.Freedom is the enabler and the ally to Art not a false prophet of universality.Freedom doesn't just keep the wolf from the door financially but works to undo sectarianism by nurture. Yet it is temporary an influence.By the limited capacity for humans to concentrate Painting briefly holds the attention of most, and eliminates momentarily the woes, the cruelty and the corruption of the world outside your window.This is the power of Art and the limitations of its long-term impact. The Artist connects unknowingly society, and then releases it a little wiser. In these moments of transcendence all sins are forgiven and all injuries forgotten.

Yet the first baptism of Art fire can never be replicated; the quest could last a lifetime to rival the rush the beauty the intelligence of Art. But Art is also a restorer, a healer that does not have to burden you. Art re-birth and renewal offer an accomplice and a companion to connect the paradoxes and hypocrisies of life, and start a dialogue with something more than the Artist/viewer relationship, and even transcending the actual Painting itself. Indeed it is not just new technologies that can advance us as a species but liberation from the cloak of self-control that puts over-socialization and the contemporary addiction to gadgetry (high tech or low tech) to withdraw and disconnect from sharing our lives by social context without recourse to artificial means. It is not the over-bearing nature of the state that denies our true nature, it is the replacing of social- class with digital cyber fantasy and semi-fictional characters that quantify our popularity and our status in the world of twitter, facebook etc. We've both personified and materialized and replaced our social network where we now have an over-dependence to our 'relationship' with social media. What we engage in is a hologram of anonymity not a democratizing leveller that is mind expanding. Indeed imagine the possibilities of retrieving as well as re-appropriating tech to harness more of our cerebral cortex that society has yet to understand as well as it has forgotten or been sedated from?

Artists are communicators and go-betweens between our potential and our ability to access it. So why shouldn't we submit to this life enhancing valuable tool to comprehend our personal vision and faith. This does not have to start from a Holy text but could be understood as the life enhancing revelations of beauty, wisdom, truth and imagination. Perhaps we could re-think our collective views on 'low-brow' Painting 'relegated to the past' and give the 'holy text of conceptual art the slip?

Painting then is perhaps not the newest of technologies to impact on the 21st century but best symbolizes and physically reveals the privation and punitive agony of restraint by its very physical limits of the canvas or board, imprisoned by its frame. A policy of not assuming every Painting needs a figurative and literal barrier can nevertheless expose the dogma of a medium shackled to the 20th century partly because of those desparately manipulating the price of a Painting as an investment; if you limit a 'product' it becomes more valuable because it becomes more rare. Best to call time on Painting to maximize your investment. Yet Turner's boiling light exploding the fault-lines of progress aren't just to be found in a national museum but was the starting pistol of Art Modernity that beckons those today to embrace a second-wind inspired by this Painting God father.

Tracey Emin and Damian Hurst were once Painter's of extraordinary energy and courage; I appeal those who rave over pickled sharks and the metaphorically shark infested detritus and nightmares of the 'unmade bed', to remember that both these towering and influential artist's both left the medium of Painting because they were stuck or blocked and had to return to the familiar and more fashionable but safe back-yard of conceptual Art. Don't give in to taking the safe and more secure road; it is better to be resisting than compromising which ever way your personal politics take you.

Recognize that Painting is still behind bars but has the energy to risk a break-out of prison rather than play the rites of passage rebelliousness of designer controversy that eats even the best of all of us alive. Don't let those concerned put you in a proverbial padded cell of Art! Turner was the starting pistol and not the finish line of Painting today. You don't need his pistol when you can blow the world away by your Painting .Only Britons can experience the placid, conservative with a small c (and a big C if that's your deal) social tolerance and gentle nature of 'happy in our own skin' of a nation that can fully appreciate and articulate the experience of finding ones national status reduced and discarded. Why is this relevent? It is relevant because the medium of Painting has undergone in Cultural and Artistic terms what Britain lost by the end of the 20th century - it lost its Empire and its standing to others with more resources. All you need are basic resourses to Paint, as well as a open heart and an open mind. In conclusion all the paranoply of aristocratic classes that commisioned Painters have largely disappeared, leaving no gimmicks, and no mystique. This should be the start of a beautiful relationship.

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