Canary In A Coal Mine

Canary In A Coal Mine

$10 portraits in Central Park. The image of a starving artist is one who voluntarily gives up on material comfort to focus on his or her art without sacrificing integrity. When kitsch dominates the art world and true artists, those who refuse to sell out, are pushed to the fringes, we as a society have a serious problem.

As Kurt Vonnegut realized and so eloquently put it: "I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts. This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever".

Kitsch, commercialism and and commodification now dominate every aspect of our lives. There is a price to be paid for that. Maybe it's the epidemic of mental illness that is so prevalent in the recent years. One in four American adults experience mental illness in a given year. The canary is dead.
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