If some in the art world are the 1%, most of us are the other 99%.

This image by a 25-year-old with a fine arts degree is one of dozens being posted every day on the We Are the 99 Percent tumblelog that began on August 23, 2011, well before #OccupyWallStreet.

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Required Reading

This week, Godard’s anti-imperialism, in defense of “bad” curating, an inexplicable statue, criminalizing culture wars, and more.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

7 replies on “99% of the Art World”

    1. And what exactly is the problem with a fine arts degree? Art is a valid important part of our culture. Art encourages creative thinking in children, it creates beauty, sometimes where there was none before, it can make a statement, it crosses boundaries of language and culture…I think your comment is small minded, petty and pointless. Those may be the bigger problems.

      1. I’m not arguing that art is not valuable. I love art too, and I’m also an artist. My suggestion would be, get a degree that makes money, that also affords some free time, and do art in the free time. This is a better alternative than getting an art degree, struggling to
        survive with a low paying job, and making art in your free time.  If you’re going to be doing art in your spare time anyways, like most artists, then why not get the high paying degree? Art can be self-taught to an extent, while other college majors cannot.

  1. It’s not easy to sell art to people who don’t have walls to hang it on. As important as art is, It’s always the first to be sacrificed in economic troubles. 

  2. Wah.  I’m 41, have a recently earned master’s in art history and work part time for ten dollars an hour.  I haven’t been able to pay my student loan for over two and a half years so my $45,000 loan is now due for $58,000.  Given that ageism is a real obstacle to getting back into the job market and that gives us middle age people less time, and less likelihood to recover financially, meaning we are more likely to stay in poverty as we age. 

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the exacerbated hardships on those of us who went back to school after age 35?

  3. My comment is not meant to diminish the 99% tumblr or Occupy Wall St, and is directed at Nate Hill. BFA and MFA graduates (like myself, like many of us) leave school with a set of problematic mindsets. But they also leave with a set of unique, valuable and highly transferable skills. Problem solving; the ability to create a job instead of having someone give it to you; thinking in terms of patterns and holistic systems; creating meaning at work–these are the qualities that separate the jobs humans can do from the jobs computers can do.

    As more jobs get automated and the job market continues to shrink, I honestly think that the MFA is going to fare better than the practical accounting or business student.

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