Wednesday, March 28, 2007

LA is King or least a Prince?

"Two decades after Los Angeles emerged as the nation's second art capital, the city is reaping the benefits of a migration of artists, galleries, dealers and curators. In recent years more than two artists have moved to this city for every one that moved away, a net rate of gain that is higher than in any metropolitan area in the country. In the process new centers of gravity have emerged for contemporary art and artists in a city that has suffered for years because of its lack of a central arts district." The New York Times 03/25/07

I find it interesting that every city claims to be number two in the nation’s art market chase. While a student in college, I constantly heard the merits of living in Chicago, the second greatest art capital. After moving out west, I was imbued with the continuous battles between Santa Fe and San Francisco for the title of best second fiddle. Los Angeles never really hit the radar; I was told it was due to the nature of the city’s layout and the distance between viable art centers. Yet here we are, reading an article claiming LA as not just a great place to make art, but the indisputable second in command for the past twenty years.

While I agree that being in an art mecca does make this career choice a bit easier from a financial standpoint; I don’t believe it is the only option for a professional artist. Andrew Wyeth has successfully avoided the city race; Jackson Pollock did his best work after moving to the country. At what point does painting towards a market and a city’s competition for second place interfere with the actual creative process for original art? – DN

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