It had been sittin’ in my craw for a long time, but I never brought it up until a friend mentioned it on Facebook. He said you should buy your art from artists who are alive. They don’t need the money after they’re dead. Well, ain’t that the truth?
Whether they’re visual artists or musicians or whatever, it don’t make no never mind. It just don’t make no sense payin’ a fortune for the artist’s work after he’s gone an’ died (probably after livin’ in poverty his/ her whole life).
Let me clarify that a little bit. There ain’t nothing’ wrong with the next o’ kin benefitin’ from the artist’s work. That’s not what I’m sayin’ at all. What I got a grudge against is all them lawyers, agents an’ promoters cashin’ in on the dead artist’s labors. Just ask yourself what the incomes are of the estates of Elvis Presley or Prince or Michael Jackson. I’d certainly like to see a breakdown of where the money goes.
On the other hand, Annie Pootoogook just died in an Ottawa river (under suspicious circumstances). She was a prominent and important Inuit artist who laid out her soul in her art and now it will be no more. Makes one wonder how much the worth of her work that’s already out there will increase in value now that she has gone – and who will benefit by it.
Not that the dead artists even give a rip about the money and the value of their work anymore. They don’t need the money. But it makes you think that somebody else is selling the artists souls for personal gain and what right do they have to do that? Oh, they can say they’re doing it to honor the artist – but somehow I don’t think so. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.