[artinfo] (fwd) Why Are Artists Poor?

János Sugár sj at c3.hu
Mon Oct 17 23:55:36 CEST 2016

Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of 
aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or 
unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the 
arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is ineffective: 
subsidies only increase the artists' poverty.
The economy of the arts is exceptional. Although the arts operate 
successfully in the marketplace, their natural affinity is with 
gift-giving, rather than with commercial exchange. People believe 
that artists are selflessly dedicated to art, that price does not 
reflect quality, and that the arts are free. But is it true?
This unconventional multidisciplinary analysis explains the 
exceptional economy of the arts. Insightful illustrations from the 
practice of a visual artist support the analysis.

Hans Abbing
Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts
Amsterdam University Press, 2008

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