Not all art should be free; just like not all rights should be free. Some rights are given willingly because of its worthlessness, and some rights you have to fight for because of its potential for real change.
Now among many of our modern, comfort lies, there is a saying that never fails to bring out the inner serial killer in me. And that is the saying that, “art is subjective.”
What a load of dirty dicks!
I mean subjective to whom? To the artist or the audience? And if it is subjective, then doesn’t that negate the standards for which talent, effort, expression of emotion and technique are based on? Could it be that what is subjective is not the art itself but rather the opinions of the audience members? In which case many are total assholes anyway, and some of whom are the shit that comes out of it.
“But what about all the greats that were unknown during their time? What about all the others that are equally as good, if not better, and will never be discovered?”
Quit whining, you imaginary, unrecognized, self-tortured freak!
The real answer to that is: time will tell. True art—real, classic art for which subsequent, future art will have to refer to from that point on—is indisputable even after the passage of time, even after the money and craze are gone, and even after it has become free and available in the public domain.
In short I can create something and call it “art” all I want, but if no one considers it as “art” then it is nothing more than a steaming pile of dog doodoo. On the flip side however, if I made something I do not consider remotely as art but everybody else thinks it is art, then it is and will be considered as art regardless of what I think.
Such is the nature of the game we all decided to play and there never was any guarantees. Because although the creation of art is solely dependent on the artist himself, its appreciation, its appraisal, is also solely dependent on the audience themselves.
Now there’s another saying that makes me want to place pillows on the faces of sleeping, unsuspecting victims. And that is the saying that “all art should be free.”
You know in theory, yes, this is true. Art is indeed free to practice and enjoy. For instance, anyone is free to sing, dance, play sports, cook, write, draw, paint, film, orate and perform; but not everybody gets to be paid for what they do whether in reverence, popularity or currency.
Such is the commerce of the craft we all decided to practice. It doesn’t owe you anything. Irrelevant art is futile art; just as creation is nothing without appreciation.
This is not to say however that one should be reliant upon the opinions of others—that if people thought well of you, you should think well of yourself. But it is to say that wanting the majority vote is not a bad thing. This after all is the tenet of democracy, the principle for which civil competition is decided upon. And that’s another word that you rarely hear anymore, a word that has become too politically incorrect for the pussified minds of modern man.
Because there is a competition in you. Because what you make is not always created equal. Because what you have to offer should not always be free.
Remember that the slowest suicide of all is called, “regret.” And regret happens when you fail to answer the competition that wakes up with you in the morning, that creeps in your mind when you’re alone at night, that looks back at you in the mirror everyday of your life.
Refuse to live too closely to the small and pitiful version of yourself. Never accept the prudence of the cowardly—humility because of inadequacy and peace because of conformity. Because the day you dared to aspire to get that dream was the day your dream declared war on you.
You must declare war back.
Don’t run from your audience. Don’t run from yourself.