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Is there a value to art?

Here’s a stream on consciousness on the weekend…

A while ago I heard that Martin Scorsese had been famously quoted as saying all art would be free a decade from now. While I couldn’t find that direct source, I did find something he wrote as on op-ed for the New York Times last year. In it, he spoke about the element of “risk” being a missing factor in modern movie-making. His contention is that individual artistic vision is void in today’s consumerist culture (such as Marvel comics becoming big screen staple diet).

He wrote: “For anyone who dreams… the situation at this moment is brutal and inhospitable to art.”

Surely not? But it seems that the world has been saturated with mass-produced factory-art. Nuance isn’t really a thing anymore. It’s just too risky for business.

However, this is changing. Big business has been running such tight margins for so long that now in the midst of a global pandemic, companies are dropping. Hotels, retailer chain stores and many other big “established” franchises are also in real danger of going under. It’s the local business down the road from you that might just make it to shore while big ships sink. Local might not only be lekker, it might be more liquid in the end as well. (Pun intended.)

As far as the arts and consumerism go… there are two questions for me. The first is what would our world sound like and look like and feel like without the arts in it? Yes, we all pick and choose our preferences and interests, and global superstars might be preferable to the busker on the street corner… but if he or she wasn’t there, my thinking is our neighbourhood might be poorer for it.

Which leads me to the second question, what is the value of art? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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