About ArtB and the status of visual artists

“Howl”, 190x160cm, acrylic on canvas, S.Kapnissi 1998

ArtB (B/flip side of the artworld, or Bside the mainstream) is a window for professionally involved artists who do their work under the noses of art authorities and art administrators. For the history, ArtB existed briefly as an artists’ initiative between 2002 and 2004. Events occurred in the course of my life as an artist, have led to the revival of the ArtB idea via this blog. The purpose is to document the current situation regarding the definition/status of the artists and their connection to the society and its authorities.

The status of the artist since the modern times has passed phases including home supported revolutionary, boheme, activist, state subsidized in order to create a national school, subsidized under state or local politics, competitive professional with clients list, etc. In this vagueness, efforts have been made to give to the artists a somehow global status. The rather humanistic definition of UNESCO stated here

‘Artist’ is taken to mean any person who creates or gives creative expression to, or re-creates works of art, who considers his artistic creation to be an essential part of his life, who contributes in this way to the development of art and culture and who is or asks to be recognized as an artist, whether or not he is bound by any relations of employment or association.

is mostly overtaken by commerce orientated organizations who see the artistic practice as a business only, or as a field of power.

In 2019 UNESCO assessed the situation: UNESCO Status of the Artist . And the same year it approved the application of IAA to declare World Art Day as an official day: WorldArtDay UNESCO

However, the most realistic and comprehensive document is the Working Document on the Status of the Artist published by the Slovak Union of Visual Arts in 2017; this is a text that came about through cooperation of visual artists associaitons of 22 countries and it is presented as an open debate with all options open. This discussion is ongoing.

Art has expanded its limits as no other creative form, embracing in its meaning the new media, sound, environment, etc. next to its basic elements of painting, sculpture, printing, etc. The inclusiveness of Art is not reflected to the destiny of the artists who most often find the authorities blocking their way.

Whoever does not comply cannot belong? This “cannot belong” would not mean much to artists if it did not have practical consequences that hinder the actual practice of their profession.

The blog artB is created with the aim to explore the status of artists in direct and indirect way: thoughts, practices, exhibitions, ideas, artworks and their creators, all have a place in this blog. You are welcome to send me your contributions as guest writers or your ideas about subjects that could be presented. Let me here about it!

last updated 28/11/2016



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