Art and Business
In matter of art and business, we likewise are seeing a non-valued duality interacting in any number of ways. Both endeavors have produced much of what is known now as the Western civilization, as they did in other societies such as China, India and Middle East. The relations between the two have been frequently striated, but when they worked together they produced this: A legacy of embodied beauty.
The last time that this fortuitous state of events happened on a large scale in the West is 1920s. The result has been beautiful skyscrapers such as the Chrysler and Empire State buildings; beautiful cars such as the Packard; and beautiful Art Deco sculpture and architecture. Since then, although technology has improved, what was created was not nearly as beautiful. The assimilative 1950s ethic created cloned bare-bones architecture in both the West and Soviet bloc. In 1960s and 1970s, when art was loved while business was hated, much art was produced, but not much of anything, ugly or beautiful, was built. And the anti-artistic ethic of 1980s and the anti-beauty mentality of 1990s ensured that, while much was built as would be expected from times favoring business, most of it was unsightly and made eyesores of cities and suburbs of major countries of the world.
It is time again for art and business to come together and produce work that is worthy of having been produced. It is time to create an embodied legacy of beauty comparable to the legacy of 1920s or Renaissance. The world, having gone ugly in recent decades, is crying out for beautification. Art and business working together to produce lasting embodied beauty stand to provide this service to humankind.
This will require a change in attitudes of business world and art world to one another. It is time that business world stop seeing art as elitist, irresponsible or narcissistic; and it is time that art world stop seeing business as being exploitative or driven by greed. Beautiful art, beautiful architecture, and beautiful ambiance are in fact a huge money draw – as we see in the tourist destinations San Francisco, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, New Orleans, Rio De Janeiro, Melbourne and Montreal. As for business, particularly international business, it has been the most effective poverty reduction program in history. People participate in it as consumers because it provides them better life than they would have had without it; and they participate in it as producers likewise because doing so gives them better life than they otherwise would have had.
Both business and art are pursuits that are biophilic and that improve people’s quality of life. There is no valid reason why business world and art world should be at each others’ throats. Both are valid, and both are important. Respecting each other, business and art stand to improve the quality of life. Working with one another, they stand to create a lasting legacy of embodied splendor that will be cherished for ages to come.