Viewing single post of blog Give me some truth

My initial idea of gauging an artists lot in Italy was beginning to seem redundant. Basically, the situation for artists, more or less, is the same the world over. We are all pursuing an ideal, a conviction or a vocation and only the very few have any security and wider recognition. I wondered if a recent report outlining that 0.7% of the worlds population hold 46% of the worlds wealth was mirrored in the art world. Is it perhaps only 0.7% of the worlds artists that hold 46% of the wealth and riches that can be bestowed on an artist through the sale of their work? I read somewhere, sometime ago, that back in the day Michelangelo’s wealth was the equivalent of $30m in todays money.

Still, lets not get bogged down with financial insecurity. Italy is always a pleasure, even if you do discover the electronic loss of €48, thanks to a tech savvy pick pocket’s preference for the contactless payment system. Next time you are in Florence, I would like to recommend the Hotel Bijou. It is a lovely spot, located just a few minutes from Santa Maria train station. My room had a ceiling height far in excess of it’s length or breadth, a tiled floor and a fold down camping bed, giving one the feeling of incarceration. Escape however, was easy. The hotel has a rooftop terrace, obtainable via an additional key, held at reception. I think you would be hard pushed to find a bad rooftop view in Italy and the views out to the Fiesole foothills, as an orange moon rose into view, were spectacular. Although Brunaleschi’s dome is totally eclipsed by the Basilica di San Lorenzo, it is still a very pleasant place from which to contemplate the city and an artists relationship to it. On a subsequent rooftop visit I encountered a spectacular display of alarmed house sparrows. It would appear that Florence is infested with them. As dusk fell, there were many thousands, flying overhead in agitated swarms and clusters.

Watching these birds in flight made me think again about the artists of this world. Exactly how many artists are there are in the world? It must be many millions. Florence was a fitting place to see these birds in flight as it allowed me the association with the countless myriad of artists out there, finding themselves within a swarm or a cluster, always moving with dramatic or subtle changes of direction. Lets call them the 99.3%.

House sparrows apparently never glide, they always flap. If the purpose of the electronic screeching and wailing that emanates from the parks of Florence around 5pm each evening is to set the birds to flight until they exhaust themselves and subsequently die, then I did wonder if the association with artists still runs true. Eventually, as an artist – and after a lot of flapping – you will die. You will drop out of the sky. If you are lucky, your work will be kept somewhere for posterity, much like the arts and crafts that adorn the Museo Bargello. Posterity would bless your work with far more information than is to be had from, for example, a 15th century jesters cudgel. There is a lot of great stuff in the Bargello but that particular work caught my attention this time round. Here were the remnants of someone’s work but whose name was now gone.