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Lesson Plans

art controversy

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
San D Hasselman (kprs)
Thu, 07 Oct 1999 18:51:14 -0400

I am of two minds over the art controversy. First of all, I tell all of
my art students (HS) that once you accept money for your art, you are
treading on thin ice. The owner of the work has the right to do with
your work what they want, AND if they are paying you to do something,
they essentially control you and the outcome. Taxpayers in general have
a hard time funding something that is distasteful to them. That said, I
let them know about the National Endowment for the Arts, and various
other grants, and the idea of the patronage system. I don't rely on
selling art for a living, and quite frankly never intended to. I have
worked as a journeyman graphic designer, biding my time until I could
secure a teaching job.

As for the Brooklyn Museum show, the Mayor of New York personally
objected to a specific piece of art, thus drawing attention to the whole
show. When I discussed this with my advanced students they said "it
fits your definition of art, Mrs. H, the piece of work evoked a
reaction" (they know that that is one of my requirements of what art
is). But, I don't think the Mayor actually saw the piece. I have only
seen the piece in the New Yorker, and was quite shocked at what the
piece WASN'T! I did send an email to a talk show host who was ranting
and raving about the piece, but neglected to interview the artist who
created the piece to see what the artist's intent was. I called his
ranting over something he had not seen, and not interviewing the artist
irresponsible journalism.

Secondly, artists just make statements. Politicians just make
statements. Sometimes the two collide. The mayor should remember that
Hitler, a failed art student by the way, once said something like: It's
art when I say it's art.

San D