Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Art Stardom, a Fickle Mistress

The masters or "art stars" of yesteryears, particularly those within the Renaissance and Baroque eras, were title creations of the Catholic church, politics and the wealth of both. Guys like Michelangelo and Da Vinci were commissioned, and very often I might add, to create these elaborate works of art for the sake of the Church's popularity and power within the country. And consider what was created by these guys at the time, really think about what they left behind; the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's too. Even Caravagio's work was heavily commissioned by the Church. Deliberate on the fact that his piece Entombment was presented in the Chapel of Pietro Vittrice at Santa Maria, where the viewers sensed "the men were laying Christ's body onto the altar" is a great example at the power of drama these artists had at their finger tips. These artists were utensils for the Church's shock-n-awe, the theatrics of getting people to believe the scripture. They were the Church's Ad Men, the commercials between the sermons. These guys were the quintessential "art stars" because they dished up exactly the kinds of messages the Church wanted them to, with little room for their own expression.

Nowadays, the art world has grown increasingly secular, messages become more independently expressable. Funding comes from certain grants from certain providers (I actually know very little about this part, but I understand that it exists somehow). My point being that even without money from either a church or a company or nonprofit group, there are artists out there that most assuredly still create art even with meager means. This is how authenticity became such an intricate part of artists lives today. In this tech-savvy society we've created, sometimes it's simply luck when it comes to being an artist. Some people get more noticed than others, some of these Noticeables are actually pretty incredible at what they do but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are portrayed as "masters" of their craft. In our current culture things like fashion, music, and yes even art, tend to be fleeting trends, whatever is popular is bound to bust eventually. So stardom for artists these days is a fickle mistress; which really means that artist these days are all pulling from the same well and we're all using a unique techniques than the rest. And some of these well-bearers are more successful at filling their buckets quicker than the rest.

1 comment:

Stephanie Lewis said...

You are an outstanding writer.