Could write a novel to hint at it, wealthy insensitives on horseback chasing foxes through peasant crops, but we see it in the news everyday. Might construct a pithy poem, record an insightful song, do a little dance, but let’s just say it out. If you haven’t stood on the edge of a two lane highway late at night in front of the only gas station in miles with seventeen cents in your pocket and one direction as good as another, you’re probably not ready for art. It’s a place you might get to from several directions, and it may not always look just like that, but if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about. I don’t mean to sound heroic. We’re born into a stormy sea, most of us, and parental expectations, cultural norms, and our own natural limitations are the bare and jagged rocks we cling to. It takes some adjustment, and art helps with that.
Wealth, in this or any time, is about frolicking in warm sunny pools. Royal lines declined without the constant tempering of war because only the immense cost and the strategic realities of battle could penetrate the cocoon of convenience and comfort their wealth provided. Without the strife of daily living – changing tires, making beds, stretching paychecks, several rooms in our personal attic are never occupied. Artists who make art for the ultra wealthy understand their overriding emotion is boredom, having never gone upstairs at all, and they connive to amuse and distract them with giant chrome puppies, diamond encrusted skulls, and such. They’re not like you and me.
We work hard for the money, and with unemployment up around ten percent, we all probably work a little harder. Before we take some of that money and spend it on art, it has to mean something to us. What would that be like? Maybe we like the image, and maybe we like the color, and maybe we like the way our expectation is always fooled when we look at it. Maybe we’ve met the artist, and are following their career as they sell art to friends and neighbors, and we get to see other examples of their work when we visit. Maybe we see in a sincere work of art an old friend in the making, an image and its attendant memories that will always be there, unchanged, wherever life takes us. Whatever it might be, really rich folks won’t get it. They think art is about collecting famous names on stuff -- there are very expensive ink blobs for them.