Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Popular Art ?

Cincinnati City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan has proposed dedicating 1% of casino revenues to public sculpture that will be chosen by unofficial votes by the citizenry. Unofficial, like via computers - so it might not even be votes by US citizenry. Estimated annual revenues from the casino, which is not slated to open til 2012, is expected to be $20M. Councilman Bortz has his eyes on 50% or more of the money but that's another story.
Cincinnati, outside it's cemeteries, has a serious lack of sculpture. My objections to Ms Quinlivan's plan is twofold. While I have no objection to the government spending on artistic / creative enhancements to the infrastructure type stuff government is supposed to be involved in, I am leery of it just buying art for art's sake. Further, the popular voting seems really dubious, look at what the popular vote gives us in the commercial world. Desperate Housewives, Vampire Diaries, Dancing With the Stars, Resident Evil, Wall Street 2, Trey Songz, Katy Perry.....
I would suggest the money be matched with private money to get the most bang for the buck & let the individual, business or organization pick & create the sculpture with the stipulation that the city retains rights to it.
Monarchy is key to good art. It certainly doesn't come from the boardroom or fickle popularity contests.

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