Subsidizing the Artist

room2

Yes, I am audacious enough to think someone will share space with me – a couple of rooms in a house, a converted garage, a granny flat. For one thing, they’ve done it before. I think someone will let me live somewhere either free or below “market value,” or in return for some kind of help, or take their payment in paintings, or have the book dedicated to them.

Yes, I have the nerve to think someone will help subsidize my life on a direct, one-to-one basis. I’m fine with that, because it will be voluntary. Besides, my karma as both a host and a guest is pretty clean.

A lot of times, other artists give me advice, and don’t want to know about the reservations I have, some combination of political and religious scruple. Like “apply for a grant.” Where does grant money come from?* Well, some of it is extracted from the people via taxation. I’m not in favor of that. Some of it comes from corporations, so most of it is dirty in one way or another.

But even leaving that aside, here is a simple question that has never been answered to my satisfaction: If the company is making so much that they can give away money, why don’t they just lower the price of their product or service, and let their own customers get the benefit? Or hey – how about giving the workers a raise?

People unwillingly and unknowingly support far-off projects because either the government or a corporation decides a particular enterprise ought to be funded.

I’m all for people supporting the arts voluntarily. Preferably, by sharing their extra living space with me so I can get this book written.

*Questions like this inspired the zine Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics, of which 25 issues were published over ten years.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s