Essays

A collection writings and thoughts by artist Gary Llama.

An Artist Statement on Art vs Commerce

Somewhere, there is a line.

On one side is where art becomes commerce.

Where people become brands.

Where artists sell their rights to their own works in hopes of…, and thats it, basically, ‘in hopes of’.

And on the other side is art as a thing artists make to challenge the world.

To tell the world to go fuck itself.

To keep things interesting.

To keep up hope.

To not kill themselves.

I’ve had my foot on either side of that line.

When I worked at recording studios, it was clearly the commerce side. We got paid, so people had to pay us.

We didn’t do it for love.

And when I make my own art, it’s for the love, and zero thought is given to the sale.

Art, for much of my life, has been a donation: ‘here is my time and money, donated into the great pail of life that is art’..

And then I’d hang it somewhere for the world to see. Because it’s not craft, it’s fucking art.

And sometimes it would make money.

But most times it wouldn’t.

And that is OK.

What sucks is when we begin to equate a realness, or importance to art, because of the sale of it.

Demand has never made great art, and it never will.

And it’s crazy, because these days so many artists spend time catering to fans, and it’s kind of a mindfuck because art is a one way street. It’s expression. If the viewer has opinions, or likes it, thats great. If they don’t thats great as well.

But probably the most dangerous thing we could do is forget that, and let art be turned from something we express ourselves with, into something we pander for attention with.

Most artists include an artists statement with a body of work.

Here’s my artists statement for this thought above: fuck the world: Express yourself.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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