Buying Your Way Into The Louvre
A lot of people would pay for getting their art into the Louvre if they could. Merely getting their work into the museum would automatically make them famous and be able to sell their artwork for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. From then on they could ask whatever price they want for their work and be set for life.
But would their art be good?
Buying Credibility and Success
This is what people have been doing for years, but it has always been on the down-low. Or perhaps we tell ourselves it doesn’t happen because we still believe in the power of hard work.
But who do you see win elections? Not the independent. You see a Republican or Democrat because they have the most backers and therefore the most money supporting them. The more ads they buy and the more money they spend, the higher their chances of being elected. Trump and Clinton spent close to $1 billion. What could that have gone to instead?
It doesn’t matter. More banners equals more credibility. More commercials equals a more competent candidate, right?
Ever heard of Taylor Swift? She’s obviously a gifted artist, singer, songwriter, etc. Good thing she has so much talent and someone noticed her. That someone was her dad who bought part of the record label that originally signed her. Must be rough being the daughter of a millionaire.
Success is often about connections. Sometimes that connection is a rich family member.
Or maybe Google can lend you some credit. All you have to do is buy the ads that show up on page one of search results and you get a ton of traffic.
But does that mean you’re credible?
You can do it on Instagram and Facebook. Why not do it everywhere else in life? Get enough followers and you must be famous.
If you’re famous, then you must also be worth money. You can sell your “influence” to the highest bidder and continue “influencing” with more bikini pictures.
But does that make you a true cultural influence?
Apple was the company that would be original and let everyone have a personal computer. Finally, someone could bring technology to the masses. And, to top it off, they had great style, design, usability. But the biggest thing was that they were for real artists. You know, the true creators of the world. The ones who could spend thousands on a computer that had a picture of an apple. Or something really groundbreaking like a $1000 phone that had unbelievable technology like a picture of an apple on it. Or the unheard of touchscreen of the iPad and iPhone. Except that the first touchscreen was invented in the 1960s and Microsoft had an iPad-like product in 2001. But, hey, Apple really made it come alive by, you guessed it, putting an apple on the back.
The thing that made Apple standout was the branding they made for themselves about being for artists and originals and free spirits. The products themselves weren’t necessarily any better. But making people pay for that branding is what made it so.
But does owning one of their products make you an original artist?
Banksy In The Louvre
What would happen if you were to turn a corner in the Louvre and find some stencilled graffiti on the wall, signed by Banksy himself?
Would you be surprised?
Would you be proud of him?
Would the value of all the other work be brought down?
Would you say, “Finally! They’re recognizing his genius!”
Banksy could conceivably sell a few of his works and afford to bribe a custodian at the Louvre to install one of his pieces in the dead of night. And I wouldn’t doubt that he might try it.
But would that finally convince people he’s an artist?
Association Does Not Equal Importance
You may never find Banksy in the Louvre. That’s probably because he wouldn’t want it. (Or so I imagine.) Because being there does not an artist make.
Simply having a piece of work in that building does not make the artist an artist.
It was the ability of the artist that made the artwork a great piece of art.
So don’t get your hopes up about being able to buy your way into the Louvre. Or that even doing so would mean you are a great artist. But that won’t stop some people from trying.
Instead, make art that deserves to be there whether it makes it there or not.
Download a free copy of Ryan’s ebook Your Voice Matters right here.
Ryan Johnston is a writer, speaker, and maker who lives near Topeka, Kansas with his family, dog, cat, 20 chickens, and 3 rabbits. Follow him on Instagram at @ryanjohnston1982.