Thursday, April 28, 2005

Why painting is better than film

I remembered a quote by Luis Gispert that appeared in a post I wrote about an artist retirement fund:
"The idea of 'artist' is less sacrosanct than it once was. I could have easily gone into commercial photography or the movie business. Why should I suffer because I make art instead?"
This comment implies that making films is not art, it is business (Gispert left no other options available). The idea that movie is "just a business" while fine art is "just art" is omnipresent. On the other hand, it seems to me there are more film masterpieces than contemporary fine art masterpieces. Or maybe I'm biased, being more accustomed to works that work (i.e., are pragmatic enough to attract?) than to works that art. In this case, I don't know how to appreciate the fine cuisine of fine art since I'm too used to chosing the easy fast-food option of films. But that isn't a fair way of seeing films. And it seems to represent a silly version of the purist "art for art" thinking. Which makes the question "Why should I suffer because I make art?" easy to answer - because you believe that art is something done purely for arts sake, and seem to despise the words "commercial" and "business".

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