Art as business
text by Raluca Băloiu
The chapter ’’Art only Art” (’’Art only Art”, ’’Objects of art” and ’’In this store”) brings to mind Andy Warhol’s phrase of ’’art as business”: „Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art” (Victor Bockris, Warhol: The Biography, Da Capo Press A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2003).
Warhol initiated in the middle of the last century a veritable mix between culture and subculture, which later led to the ascendancy of a kind of surrogate art, devoid of intent, where the focus was on challenging immediate reactions from the viewer. Legitimation of such a vision was made by auction houses through increasing financial value.
Dissemination of pop culture, of reality shows, and the multiplication of the possibilities for image reproduction (either printed or online) led to a dramatic change of mind set and the reconsideration of the idea of art, if we were to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, according to whom „medium is the message”.
Economic rationalism has introduced a gap in the mind of the receiver by replacing rational perception with a surrogate, entertaining one, and thus the art scene is distorted and profit takes the place of quality. Replacing the criterion of aesthetic and conceptual quality with economic indicators caused “the death of art”, according to the theories of Theodor W. Adorno. This devaluation also came as a result of replacing the actual image with a product, with an advertising image.