Reveille in Art: There is the purest of innocence in the creation of art. Then there are the agenda-driven, manipulative aspects of the art world. Why do we humans make art? Is it the mother of all inventions? It's definitely ingrained in all of us, whether we will admit it or face it. If Darwin was right, and I don't think he was. Did the compulsion to create art start in the primordial ooze, some 3.9 billion years ago? Did it work its way into our DNA from that point on?
What we do know. Men and women are very much equal when it comes to being creative and creating art. Cave paintings were happening up to 65,000 years ago. That was 20,000 years before humans arrived in Europe. Those cave paintings were primarily of animals, and I suspect they were the "eatin’ kind." Maybe they were created by the cook to show their clan "what's for dinner." Most researchers agree that those magnificent works of art probably started the development of language.
Consider this; art was around before language. That in itself tells you when it comes to creating art, it must be naturally ingrained in our psyche. In other words, we're all predisposed to creating art, even if it's incredibly fundamental and naïve.
Fast-forward a bunch of thousands of years. People all over the world were creating art, and much of it is magnificent to the point where one would think it's truly divinely inspired. All this great art, in most cases, was never really seen by too many people. Then some wise guys figured out that people would pay good money for a piece of art to hang on the wall. Along the way, artists themselves started to figure out that they could sell their precious art creations. But that required a lot of work, and after all, most creative people would rather just be creating and not deal with the business side.
Getting back to the wise guys that now refer to themselves as financial geniuses. All because they figured out there was money to be made off the sweat and naïveté of artists. Especially because these wise guys knew that most artists were not businessmen. "Why don't we talk these artists into letting us sell their work for healthy commission," by now, we know that's what they were thinking, and they made it happen. These same wise guys, now we would probably refer to them as entrepreneurs, created more interesting ways to make art even more valuable. And it really helped if the artist passed away. All of a sudden, these artists could no longer create anymore, so there was a limited amount of their work available. Which, of course, scarcity and rarity made things more valuable.
These wise guys-entrepreneurs added another word to the art world, and that was the mighty powerful term “investment.” Which quickly became an incredible opportunity for investors. And surprisingly enough, purchasing art has outperformed the stock market in nearly every case. These wise guys were pretty wise, all right, earning a margin off of the work of others.
Artists today are starting to realize that as much fun and personal enjoyment creating art brings them, and the good feeling they get when someone wants to buy it. It gives these creators a feeling that all that hard work and effort means something. The artist's self-esteem goes way up. Validation; everyone needs it. These wheeler dealers in the art world are quick to take advantage of the innocence of artists. But on the other hand, it's not bad to have someone else pushing your art, giving you more time to create.
"Our egos are a very tricky thing. Making beauty in this world for sure. But they also can betray us by stealing away happiness and joy." Rod Jones Artist
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