Are we fueling a machine that only makes the rich, richer and have little regard for the source from which art comes; the artist.
In this week’s The New York Times Style Magazine, M. H. Miller’s article The Mission is an enlightening must read which shined a moral spotlight on the world of Art. In the article Miller interviews music producer Swizz Beatz (aka Kasseem Dean pictured above-from M.H. Miller’s article) on his crusade to end the “inequity of Auction houses” while using his platform to bring voice to the necessity for Visional artist to receive the appropriate credit (and revenue) for their works. Swizz Beatz’ love for The Arts and commitment to educate and use both is his influence and affluence to make a change is refreshing.
What is more, the article seems to call to task the need for us all to check our moral compass when purchasing art. It was an unsettling reminder of how the underrepresented and often voiceless artist is no match for what the article refers to as, “…these Kool-Aid drinking greedy ugly immoral hedge-fund auction-house zombies and everybody is just so titillated as they follow the creeps off the cliff.”
Can this Black man with tons of street cred disrupt the ever-exclusive, seemingly untouchable, powerhouse called the art industry? It remains to be seen, but I’m betting on Dean’s optimism, thoughtfulness and sheer determination to make an impact. I am also rooting for “the Dean Choice” or some configuration of it to draw out the compassion in us all to do the right thing for the right reason.
In the spirit of my forever, First Lady, Michelle Obama; “will we (lovers of the Arts) go high, when they go low?”