In the picture, it says to ask an art critic. This is pretty much stating that artists are superior. To be elitist means to think a group is superior to others. I believe this is saying that artists are superior and would know better than someone who is not an artist.
While I believe that art is indeed subjective, making it democratic to the point where any yahoo who puts a urinal on a wall of some museum or gallery and calls it art is ridiculous. Museums should be for those with the most talent, not just for creative people (hell EVERYBODY'S creative!) Art should easily discernible and reflect the beauty of mankind as well as socio-political and cultural history that makes our cultures so rich. To simply cast them all aside for "abstract creativity" would mean to ignore thousand of years of human progress.
Ballet is the foundation of dance. Classical music is superior. When we talk about art and elitism this is what I think of. Certainly there are attitudes that individual artists of less traditional modalities might have, but I'm under the impression that this is much more personal. We forget that art is subjective. What hits that wavelength from me isn't less valid because it doesn't sing to you in the same way. There is no invalid art form and if you believe there is you are probably being elitist.
Art used to be about an expression of the culture as a whole. When looking at the Ancient Greek vase, you can find the stories of their culture, representations of their beliefs about the world and thus a representation of Greeks themselves. Today, the high arts only represent a subculture of the art elite that is bought and displayed as a representation of high social status. It is ironic how the high minded artists who rebel against materialistic capitalism can only exist because the "one percent-ers" buy and display the art as a symbol of their wealth and social status.
In recalling several metal sculptures I saw in up town Seoul, I can image some archaeologist a thousand years from now digging them up and pondering their meaning. "Yes, it seems that odd metal working wasn't actually a part of any buildings. We suspect that appreciated welders would use scrap metal to practice and test their welding skills with this chuck of metal. We can't find any patterns or forms that would represent the symbols of that time period's culture. We did find traces of paint on it but that was probably due to accidental spillage than anything deliberate."
I don't think artists are elitists but rather entry into the art world is. There is little concentration on arts eduction in mainstream schools, and no encouragement to study it in higher education. If you do make that leap there are an elite number of art schools who carry weighting just within their name that will be respected and see your employment chances rise. However getting into these is little to do with skill and a lot to do with money, for example the rise in taking on overseas students has miraculously risen...Because they all of a sudden became more talented? No because they pay double the cost.
In reality, non-elitist art happens all the time and is successful. But there is a high-school style A-clique of art critics and Yale MA grads that think they are the only ones that matter. I think historians of the future will view things very differently than the critic of today, and many of the headliners of today will be mere footnotes in the future. A strange inversion has happened over the course of time that has resulted in the "controversy makes art good" BS that dominates the minds of the elite today. That all started back in the day when the impressionists were challenging the elite presumptions of the day. Now, that has been turned on its head--it is what the establishment celebrates. The only problem is, it has no meaning anymore if that is the case. Actually, a true artistic rebel today does not say, "I'm going to make something shocking" because that is what they are taught to do. It would be far more out of the box for a Yale MA grad to suddenly decide, "F it. I'm going to paint landscapes." Now THAT would take guts.
I think a lot of artists and institutions make it feel like elitism and stuck up. Personally, I think art should be for everyone regardless of their talent. Being creative and artistic should be accessible, not something that only pretentious people do. This mindset must change so we can have a more creative society.
I absolutely do not believe artists are too elitist. I feel many people get the feeling that artists think they are better than other people, but I think it's a matter of artists being very passionate about the career path they have chosen. It's hard to make it as an artist and the more passionate you are about your work, the more likely you are to advance in your career field.
I feel that the arts benefit all persons. Music is enjoyed by a wide variety of individuals whether old or young, rich or poor. Music is taught at the lowest grade levels in schools. Art can be fun and useful for most people in this big world. Anyone can love the arts.
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There are plenty of examples of Art in its broadest sense that are anything but elitist. The attitude of only recognising classical music, opera, Shakespeare, or contemporary modern art, etc as 'Art' is what us elitist. There is so much music, film, TV drama, musical theatre and other examples that are accessible and enjoyed by many, many people and this popularity doesn't make them any less 'Art'.
Being creative and being an artist is not the same thing. Everyone is creative, but to be an artist one must bring a level of discipline and devotion above and beyond the average. It's is no different than any other subject; from playing pro football to the practice of law.
The feeling that artists are elitist might come from the same place that labels the shy kid in school as "stuck up" or "full of themselves" when the reality is the reverse.
Being misunderstood is an age old problem. As old in fact as the impulse to blame the victim while simultaneously beating them (artists) down, due to a popular but false belief.
Artists have specialised training and education, they spend years developing their skills and knowledge. Society doesn't stay the same so of course the arts change as well. Saying something isn't how it used to be doesn't make it wrong. With more knowledge and understanding you might learn to appreciate the things that might appear strange and difficult at first.
Historically it's not the artists themselves that are too rich and therefore elitist, but the friends who support them. I think of course there are a few "bad apples" in the bunch, but since modern art movements involve a high level of multiculturalism and also openness to try new ideas, the elitism perceived is more of people who are not educated beyond artists like Andy Warhol.