Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Art is cool, but not that cool

Last weekend, there was an art fair of some sort near our place, which Christina and I utterly failed to go to. However, we walked by after it had wrapped up and I noticed a flier trying to lure people to avail themselves of the services of one of the artists at the fair, by getting a portrait drawn in 10 minutes, for $40.

Now, I can kind of see the appeal of the portrait bit: you only have to sit still for 10 minutes and the artist [if he/she knows what's good for him/her] will leave out all the unflattering bits. And you'll get a warm glow of self-satisfaction for being a patron of the arts, helping independent artists survive etc. The thing I totally don't get, though, is: $40
?? For 10 minutes of low-stress, low-risk work, with the only cost-of-business overhead being a sheet of paper and some pencil lead ? That's a billing rate of $240 an hour. The only way I'd pay somebody that much for a 10-minute portrait is if they were somehow able to paint my soul and highlight all the bits that need improvement in order for me to attain enlightenment and escape the otherwise-endless cycle of rebirth. [Side note: should death then also be called "redeath" ?]

I guess I'm just a boor who doesn't truly appreciate art.

*Update: it was gently pointed out to me that the artist was offering portraits, not self-portraits.


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