When it comes to art and entertainment it is amazing how much notoriety we give certain works today when the individuals producing such work may have only been scarcely known back in their own time. We all know of this phenomena, where an artist, dream, designer has died penniless to their name, a failure by their past period standards and yet their work today sells for millions. Amazing isn’t it? Okay so, let’s talk shall we?
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2013 in the architecture section titled; “A Man Outside His Time” by Richard B. Woodward which stated; “Lebbeus Woods, Architect” at the San Francisco Museum of Art articulates several reasons why this cultish figure (1940-2012) deserves to be better known yet, perhaps without meaning to, also suggests many reasons why he isn’t.”
After reading this peace it reminded me of Ayn Rand’s “Fountain Head” and “Loving Frank – A Novel” by Nancy Horan. It reminds us that the most creative geniuses of our time, as perceived by future generations may or may not be those we choose today as befitting that title. Are they ahead of their time? Some would say; yes, as would I. Consider if you will that so many of the artists, playwrights, architects, were dreamers beyond their years in their day, surely popular but not hardly the historical celebrity billing we give them in the present period.
If only folks of those past periods had known that, these individuals would be the ones we honor today, whose names become synonymous with creative excellence in their field. Not only does one have to be a brilliant artist, but in their day the must also be a masterful marketer, developer, entrepreneur as well. The must be a designer and doer, and generally speaking those qualities are not often found within the same individual.
In fact, it’s almost the rule, not the exception, that the great artists that future generations will honor, those which are living today, will not be as well-known or as wealthy as in their own time, in the here and now. Consider all the Renaissance artists most poor, didn’t own land, and some were lucky to have patrons that gave them a room and some food. They did it for the passion of their art, sculpture, designs, and not for the wealth, artists never made much money back then.
Today, an artist, designer, architect, musician, etc., has a much better chance thanks to the Internet which levels the playing field. That’s a wonderful thing, and much fairer for the passionate artist that brings so much joy, not only to his or her own time, but to future generations. I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.