Sunday, April 27, 2008

What is an artist anymore?

So I live and work in the LES in New York City. I am one of the few, or so it seems, who lives on my block and is not a trust fund kid. As an artist and student scraping by to survive on this island of fashion obsessed star fucking brats, I have developed some bones to pick so I have decided to start this blog. Now, I could be completely wrong, but I feel like I remember a time when being a struggling artist meant that you couldn't afford the latest trends and that your jeans had holes in them because they were old, not because some kids in a third world country working for a designer jean company painstakingly purposefully cut the hole out for you. Of course, if you bring this idea up to a trustifarian hipster they will most likely call you a hater and comment on your less than positive enlightened attitude. I know that I am no Pollyanna, but do I really want to be? Sure, it's easy to be enlightened when your mom and dad are footing your bills and your biggest worry in life is whether or not you're wearing the right fidora or going to all the right parties, but what about the real people in the world struggling just to get by and do something positive for the world? It seems like all the so called artists I meet in New York are these trust fund kids or they're people who lose their souls to mass marketing and product development. My question is this: can you be an artist in NY and not sell your soul or can you survive as an artist without a trust fund? For once, I would like to hang out with some people and talk about reality, about the real issues effecting our lives, but everyone seems to be on this kick of avoidance. No one wants to talk about anything real for fear that it might ruin their high. How often have I heard those words "you're bringing me down." But, it's perfectly fine to talk about your secret shopping spot or how much you snorted or drank the night before or what band or dj is cool and what famous people are doing and where they are drinking and snorting. The only real connections I feel with people in NY are the guys who work at my local bodega or even the cab drivers. Words to the fashion designers and so-called artists, you can talk about minimizing shapes all you want, but that doesn't mean you know anything about the minimizing of integrity, honor, and brotherhood that is going on in this world every time you sell some of your minimalist art for a profit so you can buy the latest blackberry or designer hand bag. Art is dead in New York. The Beats were a dying breed of intellectuals who actually studied at Universities and applied their knowledge and their suffering to their own work. The artists I see now seem to know nothing of suffering and have probably never read the works of the classics or even care to. Today, it's much hipper to unerstand Louis Vuitton than to understand Goethe. Yesterday, I was walking by the local Starbuck's and saw that they were advertising a Nirvana compilation CD in the window. That's when I realized that all I've been thinking is probably true. An artist in today's world is just another commodity meant to be produced and sold and if you aren't able to sell yourself than you're just another poor schmuck with real holes in his jeans.