• Opinion-lead

    Opinion: Venice proves we need to level the playing fields for artsist

Opinion

Opinion: Venice proves we need to level the playing field for artists

Posted by It's Nice That,

This week artist and curator Gaynor O’Flynn reports back from the Venice Biennale and argues that it’s time for a fair trade policy for artists. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below.

After many years of saving myself for I do not know who or what, I finally lost my Venice virginity. But the parties, prosecco & pavilions can leave you feeling more like a prostitute than a blushing bride.

The Biennale is not for the new and emerging but the Art Establishment with a capital A and E. The heart is the Giardini where the Biennale began and where the nation state ethos is at its strongest. Backed by public money, the pavilions focus on one artist superstar per nation. In art as in banking the one to 99 percent rule prevails.

But in reality Venice Biennale is actually a post colonial mash-up of nationalities, language and ethnicities reflecting modern mass migration and the real way we now live our lives.

Art flies on the wings of the most genuinely open market in the world, a totally unregulated commodity exchange. The oligarchs, sheiks and collectors are in a conspiracy with the auction houses, curators and galleries, a testament to the power of the human mind and belief to create “wealth.”

The lines of super yachts moored outside the Giardini are reminders of a parallel universe where money and power dictate what is good art – i.e. collectible art, valuable art, investment art.

But back on planet eternally emerging, the reality is the national median wage of artists in the UK is less than £10,000 a year; less than half of the national wage. The creative industries amek up 7.3 per cent of the economy, growing at five per cent per year, almost twice the rate of the rest of the economy.
 Our creativity also impacts the economy is so many indirect ways. Art attracts tech start-ups, tourists, financiers, scientists and academics to visit, live and invest. Art is a power for social change.

The sheer volume of art at the Venice Biennale is testament to that but the fame and fortune route it supports is outdated. Aspiring to become the next Yoko Ono, Damien Hirst or Jeremy Deller is simply not sustainable for the majority. As artists we need to become more aware of the importance of our creativity and the power of our own work, its value and contribution to society.

We need a concept of fair trade for artists.

Gaynor O’Flynn’s next work 108 launches at Rich Mix, London in October.

comments powered by Disqus
Nice

Posted by It's Nice That

The It’s Nice That byline is used on posts that relate to the site in general, specific announcements or pieces where there is no clear single author. Contact us using the email address below if you have questions, feedback or complaints.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. Main

    This week editorial assistant Amy Lewin ponders the cultural impact of the potential England/Scotland split. As ever, feel free to leave comments below.

  2. Main

    We’ve been posting music-related art and design articles on It’s Nice That since the very beginning. In fact the first music video ever posted on It’s Nice That is this one by Koichiro Tsujikawa back in May 2007. Since then we’ve covered countless festival posters and identities, record sleeves, band logos, ad campaigns and tour photography amongst pretty much every other kind of music-related content you can think of, barring only reviewing music itself.

  3. Opinion-list

    This week editor James Cartwright wonders whether it was right to remove the Chapman Brothers’ controversial sculpture Piggyback from a Roman gallery or whether it’s an affront to creative freedoms. As ever your comments are welcome below…

  4. List

    Last week we were duped into running a project on the site that turned out to be a hoax. Here Rob Alderson explains what happened and why it’s left an unsavoury taste, while James Cartwright disagrees and congratulates the artist on a spoof well done. As ever you can leave your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  5. List

    Two weeks ago we featured DesignStudio’s Airbnb logo. One week ago copywriter Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words wrote an Opinion piece calling for an end to convoluted brand stories. His article was cheered by some people and incensed others; Sam Peskin and Liam Hamill of VentureThree want to have their say and defend brand strategy. Again you can add your views using the comment thread below…

  6. List

    We were pretty impressed with the new Airbnb logo when it launched last week, but for a different perspective, here’s Rob Mitchell from We All Need Words. He tells us why he’s had enough of “over-cooked brand stories masquerading as strategy” and as ever you can add your thoughts below…

  7. List

    In light of our recent changes and the launch of the new-look Design Observer, Rob Alderson reflects on design websites’ redesigns. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and we’re particularly keen to hear what you’re making of our new look!

  8. List

    This week James Cartwright wonders what the V&A is up to with its policy of “Rapid Response Collecting” and whether it really marks a shift in their curation policy. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  9. List

    This week Rob Alderson considers the aftermath of the disastrous Robin Thicke Twitter Q&A and wonders how it was ever signed off when what was going to happen seemed entirely predictable. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  10. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what makes a good group show. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be, or are they poised for failure? Tell us what you think of them and which you’ve been to that were especially brilliant or terrible in the comments section below.

  11. Main

    This week online editor Liv Siddall wonders if anyone actually enjoys the huge amount of wacky summertime events that are on offer in London. As always your comments and opinions are welcome below.

  12. Main

    This week, editor Liv Siddall gets excited about the upcoming ELCAF festival in London, and tells you all sternly why YES it is very important that we keep going to live events surrounding graphic arts and comics.

  13. Top

    This week Nat Hunter, director of design at The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) and a trustee of D&AD, welcomes awards being given to projects that make a real difference. It might mark, she believes, a fundamental shift in the design world. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below.