Sunday 17 December 2006

Amateur v. Professional

Here's an interesting sculpture by an amateur who has no intention - nor pretension - of becoming a professional artist. Many people find art an agreeable hobby and produce good quality work. And there are many professional artists who make a living selling junk: rusty bicycle parts cobbled together as a "profound statement" on our throwaway society! So what makes the difference between a talented amateur and an untalented professional who has the cheek to sell rubbish? Art School. At the end of it, the "artist" has a diploma. The Art Establishment places great store by these diplomas. It brands any upstart without formal training as "self-taught". (Alfred Hitchcock was a self-taught film director, but there were no movie schools in his day.)
I suspect that many amateurs, like Kris, measure their efforts against the world's greatest artists and find themselves lacking. But for the person with a diploma, the question isn't How good am I? It's How do I make a living? Easy. Get a grant from our national joke: the Arts Council. It has millions of pounds to give away to people with diplomas. Footnote: Arts Council England has recently appointed a sociologist as its Executive Director for Arts Planning and Investment! Say no more.


Post a Comment

<< Home