Art, Cheap?

Claymation figures that were made by my students at Balboa City School in San Diego, CA back in 2004.  Yes, we made awesome movies too!  Past life moment.... I taught visual art for 6 years in secondary schools.

I feel I need to say more about my ideas on art and economics.  This word CHEAP, in regards to The Why Cheap Art Manifesto, has been making me feel a bit edgy since I posted my thoughts on how I am going to go about selling my work here on my blog.

First of all, I see Bread and Puppets’ Cheap Art Manifesto as a humorous yet provocative statement.  I chose to post this on my blog because it is a simple, idealistic, political yet funny statement that relates to some ideas about how I want to sell my work. 

However, I realize that the word cheap is a loaded word especially in relationship to art.

By no means do I think of art which is well conceived and executed with an artist’s soulful expression as cheap, meaning that is of little value, vulgar, or inferior.  Creative expression is hugely valuable!   This word Cheap, as used in Bread and Puppets’ Manifesto, means that there should not be walls between the elite collectors, corporate collectors and museums charging fixed and often high admission fees, and a viewing audience or consumer.  Art needs to be accessible to everyone regardless of economic status.  Artists also need to be valued by society.  It is wonderful when we artists can receive something in return for our energy and sharing.  Money is very nice.  However I believe that art cannot be consumed just to increase one’s investment portfolio or show one’s elite standing or status.

Art is humankind’s life blood.  It moves one, it tells stories, it is a record of where we’ve been and where we are going.  Art is at times mysterious, sublime, painful, exuberant, dreamlike, super realistic, reflective, beautiful, ugly and the list goes on because art’s expressions are infinite.  Art, whether it is visual art, performance art, music, theater, film, poetry or story, is meant to be shared, enjoyed, pondered over and discussed.  How do we put a price tag on this?