My older daughter attended an art institute this summer that emphasized art for art’s sake. That’s a particular phrase that’s always rankled me, likely much to my discredit, as my daughter pointed out that art for art’s sake reigns fairly prominently in our unfinished abode. She was wholly annoyed by that proposition, too. When I asked why, she said, When I grow up, I want a salary. Clearer thinking, perhaps, than I’ve ever achieved. She doesn’t want what honestly amounts to the gambling I do with our lives.
Nonetheless, she loved this art institute. She loved the whole-hearted infusion of art, of walking across a college campus and meeting fiction writers who read thirty-second stories, of poetry slams, of improve and theater. That Government Night was run by a political filmmaker.
What if our culture truly was infused with art? If poets were valued more than CEOs? Is that so improbable? So foolish? Or too revolutionary?
But I, without a penny to my name, I still say that when it comes down to it, money is one kind of currency and painting is another.
VINCENT VAN GOGH