Thursday, March 17, 2011


Why is creativity so lowly paid and little respected in our society?
Why do we have “the starving artist”?

Why are Vincent Van Gogh's paintings worth millions now, a lot more than when he was alive?

I think I know the answer: Because we don't know how to judge art or creativity. We don't know how to value it.

We know how to measure stock values on the NYSE. Prices go up and down in hard currency. We know how to value bread or cheese, jeans or gasoline. We know how much they are worth to us.

But when we see works of genius, we don't have a clue.

Hollywood is full of creativity, yet it values mostly those movies that make the most money. The almighty $ is their yardstick.

In the art world, B.S. reigns supreme. As a friend says, If you can convince the right six or eight people you are a genius, then you are. People will gather around and kiss your fanny.

But that isn't valuing creativity. That's valuing BS. And people do love their BS. More on that in a later post.

Another thought on Van Gogh: His paintings are worth millions not because they are great art, but because they are unique, highly recognizable and highly prestigious objects. To own a Van Gogh, presumably, you have to be rich. And it is because a Van Gogh is a status symbol that it is so highly prized. At least that's what I think.

-- Roger

© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle



Sharine said...

Roger, every once in a while, a brilliant work of art, even if it is popular art, rises to the top.

You have a chance to be that artist! Not saying it is a sure bet or even good odds, but you have a chance.

Keep writing and sharing your thoughts. I love Kulture-Vulture and Shots in the Dark, too!

I hate reading novels, but if you "assign" your next finished novel to me, I will be a dutiful student. But I will probably be asking you a lot of questions.

I had to read Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground" for my critical thinking class and I hated it so much I would become physically reading and discussing it! What are your thoughts on this novel?

We also read "The Road" by one of your faves, Cormac McCarthy, and I couldn't put it down. Still depresses the hell out of me, though, especially with all the disasters lately and knowing how things work.

Roger R. Angle said...

I have not read either "Notes From The Underground" or "The Road." I tried both. The McCarthy was too depressing and I don't remember about the Dostoevski. I think it was too abstract.