I was just flicking through last summers edition of Art Review magazine and I came across an article (Art and Fame part 1by Niru Ratnam) that struck me at the time, and it is a recurring question for me as an artist…

The article asks the question why artists who seem to connect with the conciousness of the general public (think Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Murakami et al) seem to be of so little interest to the art world? Why is it that as an artist it seems almost impossible to have both credibility AND popularity?

Artists and art enthusiasts any thoughts? Can you think of anyone that has been able to successfully marry the two seemingly opposing qualities?

7 replies
  1. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Great question. I have some hazy ideas about the answer(s) but I have to go and think more about it. It’s a very deep question about why some people become influential – it goes beyond art.

  2. Spring Flowerchild
    Spring Flowerchild says:

    This is a great question. I’ve been in this discussion with my husband for the past few weeks. Trying to explain to him that there is a huge rift between an epically successful artist and the art world.
    We both agreed, in order for an artist to become famous, their work has to hang in people’s minds and have a moving effect. Hirst’s dead animals, Koons giant balloon figures and the colorful candy-like stuff that Murakami does is so in your face, you can’t deny it. I think if artists want to have that kind of pull, they should first of all, be honest in who they are and make what they want to make. But keep pushing, making things bigger, so that when people see your work, they will remember it.
    But, I think becoming famous always has a trade off. You will have to play to the people who have the money. They have seen it all. You have to shock and excite them. Most artists feel that this is selling out. I don’t know…I could say a lot about this 🙂

  3. painternissy
    painternissy says:

    It is interesting sentences.

    Not only it wants to own those who appreciate and the picture or people who can own it but we produce for our daily lives.

    That cannot escape, and compares, and belongs to “ART world”.
    I think. If money doesn’t concentrate only on popular.
    Little gathered money is useful for me because of popularity.

    It is not a translation that concentrates popularity to collect money either. In the inside, there might be a person who wants to collect money, too. ^^;

    Anyway, I think. The production in daily life doesn’t have the change so much it is necessary to do even if even it is a popular person or it is unpopular.

    Being taken up in media doesn’t necessarily think it is profitable for the artist.
    I think that sending voluntarily taking the responsibility for information and the production process will become important in the future.

  4. Marcin Retecki
    Marcin Retecki says:

    Hey, your blog is very interesting, you’ve got cool style and imagination. However, using frames to show it on your main website is a very bad habit, actually it’s against modern web-standards. Think of redesigning your blog so it matches the websites design and just linking them together.


  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I think its a challenging question and one that maybe needs to be considered in regards to where the artist is in their career.

    Initially the artist may be influenced what to produce due to the likes/ dislikes of the public and popular influences by the media. At this early stage it could be argued that the artist is reacting to outside influences

    As the artist progresses in both fame and popularity there will inevitably be an increased level of freedom to produce works that they want to, at this point it could be argued that the artist is affecting the public and media rather than BEING affected by it.

    ultimately though it is probably the case that fate, luck and opportunism as well as talent play a massive roles in the artists journey in relation to fame.

    Nomad (TLW)

  6. Vincent Strader
    Vincent Strader says:

    I think it is up to us as Artists to Allow it to happen. If we do not see our selfs in that way it will not happen for us. I am an Allowistic Artist, I Allow the Creative Sprit to flow through me. I am also allowing the prosperity and fame to come to me. It all starts happening when you change the directions of your questions from things that are limiting to things that are empowering. from “why can’t I” to “how can I” This worked for me and continues to work. I wish you the very best on your artistic journey.


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