Thursday, August 08, 2013

Garrets and lofts

Garance Franke-Ruta is right: there have always been struggling artists, and it's long been a struggle to be one in New York.

But what's new - and not limited to New York! - is the expansion of the struggling-artist category. Are academics starving artists? Lawyers? Journalists? I can understand that if you want to live off your own pure creativity (music, writing, visual arts, etc.), it's always been and always will be a struggle, unless you have family money. These days, though, you can go any number of providing-a-specific-service-to-others professional routes that would have sounded sensible a couple decades ago, and this will be viewed as decadent. It's possible to be an unpaid intern at an office job, the very sort of office job that back in the day, an artist or writer might have used to pay the bills.

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