So I am compelled to say visual artist statement because you may think I am an actor, who we now call artist. Not saying that actors are NOT artists, but they used to be referred to as actors and actresses, maybe thespians, and easy to differentiate from artists who are painters, printmakers, photographers or sculptors and the like. And of course, I am not talking about musicians, who used to be called musicians, or trombonists or pianists and not artists. But they are artists now, too, so you have to make sure you know when people mean musicians and not actors or actors and not artists, I mean visual artists.
How come this feels like stepping backward for visual artists? You can guess that it follows that an article in a newspaper, blog or webzine referring to artists probably does not mean visual artists. Visual artists seem rarer in the press than ever. It reminds me of black people in the 1950’s, today artists are usually found at the back of the book! Don’t believe me; take a look at some of the publications that used to be the go-to read to find out what’s up on the local art scene. You have to page through a lot of artists to get to the visual artists.
Why am I feeling that artists, visual artists, have become background noise? I have also noticed that often print publications don’t identify paintings, drawings and sculptures in photos. The art may even get a mention but the artist does not!
“Wonder who the artist is”, I ask myself, and I look for the credit. If the article is about an artist who is a musician or actor who lives in a great house that some musicians and actors seem to find affordable moreso than visual artists who have nice studios, maybe, but rarely make the money an artist who is a musician or actor makes to buy the high end art that will be in the photos that don’t get identified. Can you imagine the reaction editors would get from a musician whose work was used in a clip on the internet and the music was not attributed to the creator or performer? Lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit!
Hey, in most magazines the clothes are identified that folks are wearing. The stylist who chose the clothes is named. The model and the agency are named. So what is the problem with the visual artist getting their props?
Don’t really know when the transition took place. It crept into my consciousness as I started to pay attention to all the visual art I saw on TV shows, and in magazines that was not given credit. And one day it also sunk in that “artist” no longer only meant what I do. We have been ignored, demoted and dismissed.