How to live in a world without art: Why art is not dead
As the world struggles to recover from the Great Flood, some of its most vibrant, important and enduring art forms are dying out.
In the past century, the number of artworks that have been lost has been staggering: more than 30,000, mostly by people who could not afford to purchase them, or were not prepared to pay for them, say experts.
This has created a global crisis of lost art, with some estimates of as much as a billion artworks lost worldwide.
Art is not dying out – it is thriving in the new economyArt is becoming increasingly less valuable to art collectors, and increasingly, to the global economy.
“There are now two industries in art: the production of art, and the creation of art.
But these two industries are increasingly competing against each other,” says Chris Fauci, author of The Art of Art.
“They’re not competing against one another anymore.
They’re competing against the new market.”
The new market for art is a booming one: artworks are now being produced in the United States at rates that rival or exceed those of the 1980s, says Fauji.
“There are very, very few countries in the world that can say that they can reproduce what they’re producing now.”
Artists are making art in China and India There is now an art market in China, which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the global market, according to a recent report from the United Nations.
“China is the world’s biggest market for contemporary art,” says Fausci.
Chinese art is made with large-scale Chinese materials and uses techniques that are different from those in the West.
“Chinese art has been created by Chinese artists in a very unique way, with very traditional Chinese techniques,” says Jiajia Zhao, director of the China-Asia Center at the University of Chicago.
The American market for modern art is dominated by art made in the U.S. But the Chinese market is now dominated by Chinese art that is made elsewhere, says Zhao.
“The Chinese market has been much bigger, but it’s been driven by the American market,” she says.
As the global art market is growing, the global recession has hit the global arts industry hard.
There are a lot of art collectors in China – a lot more than in the US.
But many of them are also struggling financially.
“We’re losing our artists, our collectors, our artists.
And we’re losing the arts market, too,” says Zhao, who adds that China’s art market will probably shrink to about $10 billion by 2020.
Meanwhile, there is a new market in the developing world, according of a recent Global Art Market Report.
China, Brazil and India are leading the way in the development of new markets for modern and contemporary art.
“For example, China has made enormous investments in the design and construction of a new art museum and museum district, which are now very popular in China,” says Zhu Zhi, chief executive of the Art Market Board, a Chinese-funded group.
A Chinese-led effort to restore art in South Africa was hugely successful, says Zhu.
This is an opportunity to create an art scene in South African cities that has not been seen since the end of apartheid.
“This is a way of bringing the culture back into the country,” he says.
“It’s an opportunity that has been missing for so long.”
New art festivals are emergingIn the United Kingdom, new art festivals have sprung up in places such as Glasgow and London, to promote contemporary art and contemporary literature.
Elsewhere, the New York Times reported last month that a London-based gallery of American writers had been approached by a buyer to develop a series of new works of contemporary art for the gallery.
The buyer is said to be interested in acquiring more than 100 works, which would be sold to a British art dealer.
For many, this is a positive development.
“I think the new art scene has come about because of the financial crisis,” says Peter Beaumont, the managing director of Beaumond Contemporary Art in London.
“In the art world, there was a lack of enthusiasm for the financial side of things.
It was a huge concern.”
In India, a new wave of art galleries and galleries of contemporary Indian art are emerging, says Sridhar Ramanathan, the director of arts education and culture at the Indian Institute of Contemporary Art (IICA).
The IICA has commissioned an exhibition called the “Babylon,” which will be shown in Bangalore from March to October.
“Our vision is that it will show the rich, colourful and extraordinary Indian art of the past,” says Ramanath.
Ramanathan says that the exhibition will be an opportunity for artists to express themselves, and to create a dialogue about