Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Some NYC young folk have seized upon an idea that's been hiding in plain sight ever since the international art-world went from being a starving village to an over-fed Megalopolis .

Believe it or not I've been introducing students to notions of artists as an unpaid labor force and using other labor-supply & demand analogies for at least a decade to illustrate the art-economy structure to young painters. Young artists find it difficult to imaginatively entertain the notion of compensation and pay parity in an art-world typified (perfectly twinning the larger economy) by a growing wealth disparity.

In an informational, multi-media-channeled, world we often hear that content is King. Artists, in essence, are content providers - providing programming content, of varying types and quality, to art institutions and private interests. More often than not -as the folks below volubly point out- artists are under-or-un-paid for providing goods and services which are THE essential component of an artworld and art market simply awash in dollars.

Since the W.A.G.E. folk have put time and effort into shaping and finding a platform for such ideas (as opposed to my ineffectual and cranky public griping) I think I'll give them props and let them do their own talking and agitating in the embedded videos below.

If you are one of the 1 & 1/2 people who read this blog - you could do no better, on WAGE & artist's behalf, than to distribute these videos in your own sweet way.

By the way, this blog entry heading is borrowed from WAGE's slogan We demand payment for making the world a more interesting place. I don't think Madison Ave. could have coem up with a pithier campaign slogan.

Go kids, go!!!

Democracy in America: W.A.G.E. from Creative Time on Vimeo.

WAGE energy smells wonderfully similar to the energy and low-fi tactics of the Guerilla Girls and the activist moments that led up to those masked crusaders.