slavesincorporated

Fame and Posterity

In Artist, freelancing, Fame on February 28, 2018 at 20:08

Fame works in the same way primates choose their alpha males. We are just humoring ourselves by believing that intellect matters. It matters only to the point where it allows people to not feel guilty about prostrating before beauty. Intellect has to be utilised in moderation. The right formula balances glamour with showboating, flirts with controversy and adds a hint of intelligence. Just a fleeting flavour. Anymore and the audience starts feels uncomfortable at the mirror you are holding up to them. Any less and you miss the blessings of the reviewers but you may still win the audience and may be even an election.

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The masses need predigested Cerelac, not the high fibre low sugar breakfast you’ve trained yourself on. Numbers, fame and power accumulate around the lowest common denominator, which is why politics attracts the worst of the lot. Art attracts the best and it never promised to pay the bills. Just that one gets to express oneself freely is privilege enough. But in the consumer economy, everything is entertainment, even the most highly researched and well written Think Piece or Podcast. Mass consumption subjects art to the same vanity, voting and warranty schemes as a dating app or a toaster. You can play along and chase ever-growing pay cheques, ratings and subscriptions. But in doing so you are reducing yourself to one more service provider who may be recognised as an artist only for the sake of classification and drop-down menus.

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Artists of yore survived purely on the patronage of murderous Kings. We are surviving on the patronage of corporate shows and brand endorsements. Every artform and style eventually finds its own audience, however big or small. The only question to answer is: What are you aiming for? Building a legacy or a flat in Bandra? Both are seldom reached from the same path.

– Punit Pania

  1. Historically art has survived on patronage of wealthy. Over time only the classification of the wealth holders changes. It comes down to how many people you want to experience your art. In a way the ambition of the artist pretty much determines the road to legacy or flat in Bandra.

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