” Why are sales the marker of artistic excelence?”
Do you know? Because I don’t. I’m just sitting in my room, innocently trying to study geology, when that whale of a question was poised on Frosted Flake’s radio show. How am I supposed to concentrate on the ozone layer and river systems now with more interesting thoughts meandering on the perephrials of my mind?It’s like that little brother that pokes you until you pay attention to him….fuck. So this is why I am dedicating a solid 6 minutes to thinking about this to get it out of my mind before i get back to the wonderful world of weathering rocks and rivers:
This was a reference to 50 cent betting with kanye west that he would retire as an ‘artist’ if his record didn’t outsell kanyes.Kanye’s album was titled ” N*GGER”, which doesn’t exactly should ‘grab me’ from a Sam Goody shelf. So absurd situation aside, do sales really measure artistic excelence? Maybe. Things that involve more ingenuity,creativity, time and human effort seem to cost more. Like if the Sistine Chapel were for sale, it would cost a gillion euros, and that would be an acurate measure of its excelence. But I think the focus is less on how much it sold for, and more about how many it sold. 50 Cent is like a Big Mac: a cheap brand name that uses juicy imagery ( in the form of video vixons and beef patties, respectivly) to stimulate a humans deeper cravings ( of sex and food, respectivly) and leave them wanting more. And unless marketing is now synonymous with artistic excelence, I really doubt that sales has much to do with the quality of the product. Go ahead, call me a cynical sally. But how else do you explain the way the number 1 movies in the boxoffice are always really shitty, plot recycled duds produced by major film companies who spend 40% of the funcding on hiring A’ish list actors, 40% on advirtising and promoting, and 10% on anything else that makes a movie good? I didn’t realize realize the paramount ( hah, pun intended) importance that marketing plays–it forms our opinions for us.And because most things are subjective, like artistic excelence, if we are convinced that the 50 cent album makes bethoveen look like linus from snoopy, then we buy his album and redefine the bar for what artistic excelence is.This is dangerous, hella dangerous.
I guess this entire debate leads back to the definition of ‘art.’ I guess it’s a personal definition. If one defines it as accessible and transperant, than 50 cent would be a great artist. Personally, i think art is a window, gateway or portal to the experiance of another or a reflection or statement that responates within oneself that a person wrestles with to make meaning of the art and themself.Good art, that is. I think accsessibility is irrelevant to good art. 50 cent isn’t even art, he’s entertainment. He barely has a message. Oh except that you an find him in the club, if you need him. I really don’t undersatnd some of these entertainers, but the way. If someone were to give me a microphone and the world was listening, I may mention sippin on bub in da club like once, but otherwise, there are other topics i would use my ‘talent’ , ability, and world attention towards. It’s strange to me that someone wouldn’t, that soemone who did work hard for fame would so quickly glamorize his struggles and normalize his newfound extravagance, instead of the otherway around to send a message.
So 50 can sell as much as he wants, i don’t think it makes good art. It makes a good publicist, a following of sheeple, and sucking the tit of commodity culture.