art economics 101
I don't know who the cartoonist is, but if I did I'd give him/her full credit as this is right on target. So much of the art I'm looking at these days is all about the artist. The market-savvy artist knows that artist-as-celebrity sells better than almost anything else in the current tabloid-mentality marketplace.
I'm in a really foul mood about society's shortcomings and government shortsightedness today. My boys, who are heavily involved in arts programmes, came home with information on the slashing of the district's and therefore school's fine arts budget. No more extracurricular theatre company, which affects Adam, only one or two multi-level art classes (it's a very small school but...) and no jazz band, beginner band or guitar being offered any more. Fortunately that doesn't affect Carl as he is graduating in a few weeks.
One good thing (the only good thing?) about former elitist societies is that art-making was not all about the bottom line. There was a purity of purpose when it was being made for the privileged classes, who often thought anything to do with money was unclean. Along with this economic freedom for the elite came buckets of education, and the resulting art patronage delivered many artists from the need to spend as much time on marketing as making art. Art was often about (gasp) art.
Please, feel free to argue with me. I'm itching for a fight today. :)