Money…it’s a drag.

July 17, 2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes
Ray Beldner, from the series Counterfeit

Ray Beldner, from the series Counterfeit. Courtesy Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco.

Another topic that’s been playing on all our minds is the economy. Artists and arts organizations are hard-pressed to make ends meet in the best of times. What are they doing to survive the current downturn? I’ll be looking for examples of innovative strategies as I travel to the East Coast this week. I hope to dig up some bright ideas that non-profits, for-profits, individual entrepreneurs, collectives and educators are hatching to survive the lean times. Meanwhile, I’d welcome any and all input in the comments.

10 Comments

  1. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    ROOT HOG OR DIE!

  2. Catharine Clark Says:

    Thanks, Anu, for reproducing a piece of Ray Beldner’s from the Counterfeit Series!

    Are you going to Creative Capital by any chance on the East Coast?

    Katie

  3. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    As a student at CCAC, I knew several students who hustled tricks for money so that they could pay their rent, buy art supplies and meet their basic survival needs. I know one artist in San Francisco who hustles for cash to pay his rent and access dental care. Thousands of artists are never going to be a part of any gallery or make much money off their art. There is nothing cool about not having enough money to go to a market and purchase healthy food. Lots of artists use the free kitchens in SF or the East Bay, buy used clothing, hold garage sales and buy food in bulk with other artists friends. I’ve worked in LGBT agencies and many of the artists that I got to know sold drugs. Sometimes even in AA & NA 12 step meetings. Business is business is the way I heard it. Others hold full-time jobs, 8-5 but don’t seem to be able to hang-on to those jobs for very long. I’m curious to read what Anu finds out about what other artists are doing in this nasty economy.

  4. Max Batt Says:

    I know a few people who’ve gotten into porn. I also go to CCA.

  5. Cliff Says:

    The real drag is seeing that butt-ugly Beldner piece. How common.

  6. Anuradha Vikram Says:

    Perhaps I am cynical – I also went to CCA – but I feel that if artists are turning to porn or prostitution to pay their bills, then either the art school system is utterly failing to graduate them with any useful skills at all, or there is another reasoning behind it. Zak Smith, an artist who does not need to do porn to make a living as a painter, explains some of that reasoning here: http://therumpus.net/2009/01/the-rumpus-interview-with-zak-smith/

  7. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/how_prostitution_works/000012.html This link may be helpful in understanding prostitution. One of the best books on the topic was written by Dr. Melissa Farleuy, “Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress”. The introduction to the book is written by Dr. Judith Herman of Harvard.

    It’s always good news to learn that another artist has not turned to prostitution/pornography! Thanks for the link, keep on truckin’ Zak!

    Unfortunately, there are artists who are involved with the slave trade as prostitutes and/or pimps. The good news is that there is a way out if that is what they want.

    Rent, food, supporting family/children, health care, dental/eye care, CCA tuition, art supplies, clothes, day to day living expenses add up. Many artists don’t have adequate support systems that can get them through an economic crunch and view prostitution/pornography as a quick solution. It may solve some of their immediate survival needs but they can be trapped and see no way to exit.

    There is also a large community in the bay area of johns/male prostitutes. There are countless johns, pimps and male prostitutes in the bay area. Alcohol, drugs, and pornography are a big part of that scene and once in they can become addicted and become slaves to their addictions and their pimps. I would note that when I was a student at CCAC, there were not only student prostitutes but there were faculty johns.

  8. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Nota bene: I would note that when I was a student at CCAC, I knew a few student prostitutes and faculty johns.

  9. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Hello Anuradha,

    This link. http://www.captivedaughters.org/aboutus.htm re: pornography might be interest to you and/or your readers.

  10. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    My apologies, here is the correct link: http://www.captivedaughters.org/book.html

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