Thursday, December 19, 2013

Salgado Exhibit

Genesis Exhibit - Santa Monica  2013

Genesis Book - Santa Monica  2013

Joe and I spent some time in Santa Monica at the  "Bergamot Station Arts Center," taking in the Sebastiao Salgado exhibit at the Peter Fetterman Gallery.

Thousands of dollars per print: not what you could call affordable art.

And here's the thing: not that Salgado isn't talented. He is. And I'm sure he's a hard worker! But in the art world, as in the music world, it's hard to discern what drives success: talent or luck. Of course, it's a combination of both, but as Alan Krueger (Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers) points out (in remarks delivered at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame):

The music industry is a microcosm of what is happening in the U.S. economy at large. We are increasingly becoming a “winner-take-all economy,” a phenomenon that the music industry has long experienced. Over recent decades, technological change, globalization and an erosion of the institutions and practices that support shared prosperity in the U.S. have put the middle class under increasing stress. The lucky and the talented – and it is often hard to tell the difference – have been doing better and better, while the vast majority has struggled to keep up.

These same forces are affecting the music industry. Indeed, the music industry is an extreme example of a “super star economy,” in which a small number of artists take home the lion’s share of income.

I would submit that the same thing is true in the art world. I'm sure that there are many, many photographers just as talented and hard working as Salgado, but maybe not quite so lucky.

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