Art for Sale?

Yesterday I got a chance to watch celluloid poetry “The Ship of Theseus.” Once in a blue moon such films do come out and leave us yearning for more. The movie was sincere in one word. I mean nobody in stockholm talk Hindi or Egyptian character didnt talk to her mom over skype in English for the sake of audience. This could have been possible only when the filmmaker made the film to be true to himself and the script.

art for sale

So this  brings to me to another question. Isn’t art supposed to please masses? In that case isn’t it the artist’s duty to please the audience even if there is to be some adjustments to be done in his piece of art? So what is more important? To be true to what he wants to perform or to go with the audience’s taste?

So coming to the audience’s taste, Is it the acceptance of the audience a measure of success of art? So even if a great artist who makes some peculiar and one of its kind of art, if it does not satisfy the expectation of the mass, should the art be considered as failure? many a great artists had to overcome these and worked tirelessly towards their calling or their way of work and fount acceptance over a period of time.

Also being constantly fed by narrow meaning of art, are the audience ready to separate what is mundane and what is miracle in terms of any art form? Be it music, literature even film making. When I think myself as an audience, invariably what I have seen, heard over the years make me draw comparisons over the individuals I like, however mediocre they may be. I heard someone say in the crowd after watching the movie that only Mysskin can make a movie like Ship of Theseus in Tamil. No offence to Mysskin or Anand Gandhi, but that is the scale we have to measure the greatness of an artist. We always have a scale.

The recognition of the audience is the highest regard an artist could get. That will be his greatest reward, as numerous artists have said while they win some cash prize or something. In that case is it ok to churn out mediocre stuff in the name of art with the excuse of audience acceptance?

There should be someone to step up to bring up the standards of the so called audience. It is not going to happen overnight but it will happen. Like it happened with Ship of Theseus. A common man can relate and appreciate an art, be it of any form only if he can relate it to and when it touches something inside him. Over a period of time, only the artists however absurd they may be or their art may be, succeeded because they made something that everyone can relate to and touched them.

It is high time that people in lot of art forms should realize this and create something to the heck of creating it and not for money, fame or acceptance. Because if it is not now, we will be the first generation which is going to be affected by the art famine.

If you are an artist, writer, singer, composer or even a gardener, tell me this? What does audience reaction mean to you? How did you feel when you make something and it touched the chord of so many people and made them remember you for that very reason? I am curious to know.


  1. viddev August 5, 2013 at 8:11 am

    The thing is thr s no standard or science to assess art …. Thus comparison becomes inevitable

    1. Bragadeesh Prasanna August 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      That is the poit la vidhya. If somebody knows yanni they can compare a piece of arr with him or they will compare him with deva or somebody. So is it essential to educate the mass abt it??

  2. Ravi August 7, 2013 at 12:51 am

    BP, as you mentioned the reward for any artist is recognition. I will also add “reaction” from the audience is worth to note for an artist- either good or bad.

    End of the day, everyone works for idly-vadai-chutney ( bread and butter ), even core-art-core artist got to have money. So for the sake of money, some artist will create something which will please the masses ( guaranteed money ) and some will do some innovation/new things ( will bet on the money ). When s/he tries new things, they are betting on their work. A risk is involved.

    But, there are some artist who had led their life just for the sake of the “art” alone. Van Gogh, Bharathiyar …. The problem is they are branded as “lunatic, stubborn, head-weight”, incorporate world- attitude.

    There are many acclaimed film makers, who doesn’t want to change their way of work, so they had to quit the film-making business due to the producers pressure in the name of “trend”.

    When any film-makerartist say that they had done innovation ( Pudumai ) in their work- this is untrue, cause our mind constantly gets inspiration from different things. No one can be 100% Innovator- except nature ( ok- god ).

    For me I like to get a reaction to my work ( writtencartoon ), either good-bad. This will help me in learning things and make a better work next time.

    So there is no science of good-bad art, it is just art- which people like or dislike.

    1. Bragadeesh Prasanna August 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks for the detailed view Ravi. The problem is when the artist is caught inbetween catering the masses and also answering his conscience. True that nobody can be 100% innovative but the ideas and inference can be fresh and that is what is perceived as innovation these days. So my question is if you have created something that u could relate to and feel god about and the audience is indifferent rather than reacting, what would you do? Will your next cartoon be for masses or what u wanted to do? I am just curious

      1. Ravi August 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        While art is a passion I tend to please myself first. Unless there is some incentive involved we (I) cannot writedraw for masses.

        The conscience plays a important role, to make a blog famous one can write a controversial subject or target a specific personcommunity, but most of us doesnt do it.

  3. uma August 12, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I am just a starter.But let me answer your question both as a writer as well as an on looker. As a writer, I always wanted people to experience something out of my writing and their feedback are what I look forward to. As an audience (on looker), I am attracted to the unique piece of art/poetry/writing and I tend to come back for more. So, for me audience are priceless since they are the ones who really appreciate works from their heart

    1. Bragadeesh Prasanna August 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Unique piece – there you nailed it Uma. The question is when the audience do not understand what aunique piece holds does that anyway deter the artist? If and when an artist is looking for appreciation than feedback, is it ok for him to provide what the audience want rather than answering his true call is my question. Thanks for dropping by. Means much to me

  4. InnerDialect October 28, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I used to take comments very personally,about my writing, or art, and even today it is startling that someone can totally disregard that I do this for a living, that it bares my very soul. and it costs me. At my last show, someone asked, ” So how much did it really cost you to do this ? Whats the cost of this canvas, and how much for paint used here ? And frame ?!”
    I was so shocked at his aggression, but he did not stop, ” For 10,000 I can buy a washing machine ! Phone, or mattress. Suits ! Shoes ! Travellite ! Even 1000, is too much for me. ..but I like this painting. I walked in here and I want it.”
    He liked it and could see it on the walls of his penthouse in Kolkotta, but couod not see this was an Impressionist Landscape. How could I tell him anything. Found myself almost apologising … 😛 !!!! Yes , this is a tough one for me to explain to people.

    Today I value people’s opinions, ‘ cuz, like it or not, we live in a society that grabs, steals, and will slice anything off anything for a bargain. There is no value for even a good bride, why will anyone look at a person’s soul – prints on a wall. Maybe it is too much to ask. And YES I wish we didn’t have to sell our paintings.

    1. Bragadeesh Prasanna November 19, 2013 at 2:01 am

      I feel bad about what you had to go through. I mean, when you were working at the canvas, I bet you did not think about that 10K.. it is your expression and imagination and the way you brought it alive in canvas alone would have mattered.

      Sad that people always put on a critic hat when they step in a studio. I mean, what happened to the good old enjoying the art for the heck of it. I think when you dont have to sell your paintings people may form a line to buy your’s. That is the irony of life. But at the end of the day, when someone sees your piece of art from your eyes, heart and mind and really appreciate it for what it is, how blissful it would be.

      High time we create good art critics.

      1. InnerDialect November 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

        Heya thanks great person – I vent, yell, but after a few days, the experience settles like spice and things that turn out nice… I guess its easier selling onions, easier being something ppl understand, its a challenge to be different. U see a person i a wheelchair doing great stuff and feel humbled… in the process of all that, some more creativity arrives, with new words… if we miss that, we miss something new. Yep its tuff, pride vanity all must take a back bench. After I wrote that piece, so many beautiful things happened, and i havent had the time to write it all down – – phew ! Lifes like that – crazy ironic blessed sweet and hot. Then they tell us to CHILL :)))))))))))) thank you somuch for writing, gratitude… RN

        1. Bragadeesh Prasanna November 27, 2013 at 12:49 am

          //if we miss that, we miss something new// how true.

  5. InnerDialect October 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Love your post. Am re-blogging !

  6. susiematt October 29, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Be true to yourself. Once we’ve invited people to view our art/words says that we have already “approved” their personal interpretation. People will never feel what our heart has caressed while we desperately try to delight our viewers.

    Whispers of sarcasm, snide remarks and crowd pleasers will stir the blind at heart. It takes little to no effort for people to bruise the depth of our canvas. Vision with ones eyes does not have to seek approval. We are indeed artists. I will never allow someone else’s expectations to define me.
    And you are beautiful…. Just sayin’

    1. Bragadeesh Prasanna November 19, 2013 at 2:08 am

      You covered it eloquently Susie. That is all I have to say about it. But what about the real observer or people who are in the artist’s league in terms of creativity but not execution. If I am willing to display my talent and not approve the interpretation, then he will be benefited right?

      It is a big topic and I dont think I did justice to it 🙁

      Thanks for the lovely last line. Loved it

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