Reimagining art in Dallas

I had this conversation with Liliana Bloch on a Facebook Event page. I thought it had some useful stuff in it so I decided to move it onto my blog:

Ean Schuessler
 I guess it’s a little predictable that the “reimagination” is mostly “have the city buy more art”. Does that change things or turn art into even more of a game where artists chase after these political “gate keepers”? Artists need to take the manifestation of their dreams into their own hands.
 Liliana Bloch It doesn’t mean to buy more public art, it means to stop doing it if there isn’t a budget to maintain the piece. Is about collectors supporting educational to artists by acquiring pieces from reputable galleries and stop the idea that galleries are rip-offs. Is also about museums exhibiting Dallas and Texas artists and putting Dallas art in their collections and exhibit them.
 Liliana Bloch There has been a lot of progress in the arts in the last ten years in the art fields. It can be even better.
 Ean Schuessler I think we should throw Dallas’ most prominent artists in jail and make them into cultural martyrs, maybe put on an exhibit that displays their socially unacceptable artworks. It worked for the Dadaists when the Nazis did the Degenerate Art exhibit… worked for Pussy Riot too!

 Ean Schuessler Ok, I’m kidding… sort of. I absolutely agree with you about “localizing” the artistic culture but I do want to reiterate the “bozo effect” that Steve Jobs talked about. As soon as the state starts throwing money around you will see a sudden manifestation of people presenting themselves as artists who are also masterful at manipulating the social spheres around the political infrastructure. These people will probably crowd out the actual “artists” who have long been slaving away in poverty and obscurity to create their dreams. Frankly, I’m a big fan of “commercial art” where the artist selects a market and crafts a product that is aligned with what they are wanting to produce. Some see this as selling out but I see it as an engineering problem. If, as an artist, you want to produce product X then its simply a matter of figuring out how to reach audience Y that wants it. There is a question of pandering to audiences but you don’t have to do that. Its up to the artist who they pander to, that’s part of the self-expression process. The state only has to get involved for artists whose work can’t be supported by its target audience. In my opinion this should be reserved for “cultural preservation” kinds of artists who practice forms with a strong history that are less in fashion and are more about preserving traditions of craft.