Accolades and Art

Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar.  This moves me even though I stopped watching the Academy Awards after the 2006 awards. The Oscars are notorious for not being really representative of a lot of the art put out there in cinema, and yet I’m so happy for DiCaprio.  There’s something really touching about this man who has worked in this industry since childhood be recognized by the best known award ceremony in the country. Even more touching was the standing ovation.  He received one at the Golden Globes too.

Why is it so important to us to be recognized?  Why is it so hard when we are not? I mean, we all know the general answers to these questions, but there seems to be moral assignation to whether something is properly recognized or not.  We hear about a struggling artist whose art only comes into prominence after their death and endures for many lifetimes and we shake our heads and say “what a shame”.

There also seems to be judgement if you desire acknowledgement or accolade within the art community.  If you do well in a work -a-day job, and you desire recognition your ambition is lauded.  If you crave applause at the end of a performance it’s inferred that you are a bit of an egoist.

There’s something about doing something artistic that leads people to believe it should be wholly satisfying in and of itself.  I wonder if this stems a bit from the idea that art is somehow not properly Work, that people are fortunate to be Artists.

Some YouTube Videos exist of famous musicians playing in public places, like the subway, and people rushing by and ignoring them.  Not even giving them a glance as a busker, much less as a Master.  It’s interesting to me that people are so shocked when a commuter walks by Lindsay Stirling without a second glance, but isn’t shocked to have say… Bryson Andres just playing in the street for their enjoyment.

I think that a social contract should exist between the people working to enrich the world around them and the people who enjoy that enrichment.  We sing, you clap,  we make art, you spend a moment to look at it.  A busker makes your morning?  Drop a few coins into their case or hat or whatever.

To start with, locally, as a community, we should be better engaged with recognizing, appreciating and encouraging each other. I mean, that’s the thing  we can change.  And be happy for each other when we receive recognition, that’s the other thing.

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One thought on “Accolades and Art

  1. I think there’s this capitalistic idea dogging art that if it doesn’t produce a tangible output, it’s not a legitimate way to spend your time. Maybe that’s why there’s so much emphasis placed on how many records sold, what the movie grossed, how much such-and-such art piece went for at auction. It gives art a place in the economy, and therefore a place where people take it seriously.

    How we’ve let ourselves get to a point at which the amazing performances of street artists could be deemed less valuable than a blender that will break down after six months the first time you try to use it to crush ice is beyond me, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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