is was originally created, and the musician who originally created it?. And could the same be said for classical figurative art, in particular portraiture? I think so.
What is interesting about the contemporary pop music situation is that it is almost exactly the same as the current situation with contemporary art. Contemporary artists have taken on the role of performers and celebrities whose profiles are often more important than the work they are producing. Almost the entire value of the work being produced by many contemporary artists is linked directly to the profile and persona of that artist; the artists themselves have become essential components of their own work. Without the connection with the artist, the art being produced by many contemporary artists would be left incomplete and without much value. It would therefore make sense that the work of such contemporary artists and pop performers would not function well as a form of currency. Classical music and classical figurative art, on the other hand, have characteristics that would make them more suitable as a form of currency.
What my comparison between music and art tells us is that the long term value of a work of art is linked to a certain degree to two important factors:
1. the extent to which one can disassociate the work of art from the artist
2. the extent to which one can assign value to the actual characteristics of the art object as an independent entity
To end this post I want to quote some more of Joshua Fineberg’s article “Classical music: why bother?” from salon.com which says:
Some composers may be bristling at this point and muttering that they are not so cavalier as to completely disregard public taste and societal demand. They may believe this, but ultimately they are wrong. If taste and society were their real yardstick, then the Billboard Hot 100 would be the true arbiter of worth and value (in the non-economic sense, as it already is in the economic sense). Let’s face it, any “classical” composer holding that view is in the wrong business. This is not to say (as some have done) that success is incompatible with cultural value. It is merely to say that the worth of a work is either intrinsic to it and therefore completely independent of its commercial success (as I believe), or it’s determined entirely by its social reception, in which case any flash-in-the-pan boy band is “better” than just about any “classical” composer.
To be continued…….
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications