In today's world of art and music, we've come to a point where we've essentially decided, "If it's isn't commercially viable, then it isn't valuable." Basically, art and music now gets funded because it has a commercial aspect to it. So if you can turn it into a product like a CD or TV show and people like it enough, then you can create it. If not, you're out of luck. But what about experimentation? Exploration? Craft? Sadly, those things don't fit the model, so they've been kicked to the curb. If that had been true in Michelangelo's time, we would have no David. No Sistine Chapel. No Mozart. No Shakespeare. Historically, artists had patrons that allowed those deemed the most talented the time and focus to become truly extraordinary at not just the craft, but at the theoretical side of their art. And it wasn't just art. From Wikipedia:
While sponsorship of artists and the commissioning of artwork is the best-known aspect of the patronage system, other disciplines also benefited from patronage, including those who studied natural philosophy (pre-modern science), musicians, writers, philosophers, alchemists, astrologers, and other scholars. Artists as diverse and important as Chrétien de Troyes, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all sought and enjoyed the support of noble or ecclesiastical patrons. Figures as late as Mozart and Beethoven also participated in the system to some degree…
Today, Kickstarter and other platforms give us the technology and connectedness to all become patrons on a smaller level. But we even approach that as consumers. "What is my reward? What is the end product? What do I get?" And sometimes, thats great. But other times, what we get is the opportunity to help push the boundaries of the way art is created. To explore the limits. To bring extraordinary people together to create something new and truly original. To help amazing talents take their art to another level that the next generation can then build on top of.
Right now, I'm sitting in the studio watching just such a project come to life. And it's incredible. My friend Casey Driessen is kicking off Fiddle/Sticks, The Drummer Project with studio legend Kenny Malone. He'll be collaborating and exploring with the top drummers and percussionists across all genres and it's all being captured on audio by Matt Mangano and video by Craig Havighurst. And it's truly amazing. So if you believe in art for art's sake, this would be a great place to start. Then find another one, or two, and support those. And, hopefully, we can show that world that art doesn't have to commercially viable to be valuable.