Yan Pei Ming, originally uploaded by fil himself.

This man has long being inspirational for me, as I mentioned in my previous post he was my teacher in Ecole de Beaux Arts Dijon(by the way, since I graduated the state has change the name of the school to just “school of art” and has taken the fine out of the fine art equation). He seduces you while cooking amazing Chinese food in an enormous round table in his house. He was the first to buy me one of my large scale drawings. He still lives in Dijon doing portraits for the rich and art projects for the government from what I see from this far. Yesterday I was chatting with a friend in france now living in Paris and she told me she hated Ming because all he was doing as an artist was to make great projects with the government…. selling out! she said. now, I can not imagine how much money this might be for him… but it has to be good. I have to admit I did not know what to say to her, she is not an artist but she had a defined opinion about it already and I did not. I have being thinking about it since yesterday. The institutional artist funds is something no artist can avoid in France since the private section is lacking enormously behind. I would like to have a set opinion on this matter but it changes very quickly in my mind. I still don’t know what to think… can you guys give me some comments…

4 Comments

  • Selling out…I guess for me that only happens when you stop doing what you want to do, for money. And its hard to tell when you have, its very subjective. This is one of the huge ironies of being an artist, the mexican muralists could never get over it. They spoke of social injustice and the abuse of power, theirs was an art for the people, yet since it was comissioned by the government to be placed in their buildings most people couldnt even see it. It was absurd.

    It seems like there is no intermediate point, people think if you are not a starving artist you are a sellout.

    But if you have to take a job, any job, for the money, and try to do your art in your spare time (which will be scarce) you might as well take a commision from the government if you get that opportunnity , the commission could be just another job or you could turn it into a personal project that happens to be payed for by the government, thats the tricky part.

    Art is a business, the art world is a system, so if you have any success it is because you have decided to become a part of the establishment. I dont think this is selling out, unless you lose yourself in the process, and end up doing only commissions that are not at all what you would want to be doing on your own.

    It all boils down to the work. If it is sincere and if it is yours.

  • Hello Pablo,

    Yan Pei-Ming is one of my biggest references at the moment. Right now next to me i´ve got a very nice book i bought at Offer Books in London where i live, back in 2006. The book is Fils Du Dragon/The Way of the Dragon.

    I am a painter myself as well and I´ve learned of my own experience how hard it is to succeed, and when i say succeed i only mean making my living out of my artwork.

    While that doesn´t happen i see myself struggling to find the time and the money to produce, and working full time as i´ve been for a long time,that´s not easy, i have to say.
    Of course, this is the case of many artists.

    Yan Pei-Ming is an amazing artist that has already produced fantastic work and i hope that he keeps doing so. Art is a bussiness, yes, no doubt about that. An a lot of people have made a great bussiness out of artists. What´s the matter with an artist that is doing good bussiness using the system to produce more work?

  • The crux of your writing whilst sounding agreeable initially, did not sit well with me personally after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you actually were able to make me a believer but just for a short while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do nicely to fill in all those gaps. In the event you can accomplish that, I would surely be impressed.

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