Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An interesting contrast

City of Minneapolis wants to spend $50k apiece for 10 water fountains because they're "art." (h/t Anti-Strib, others)

Young, accomplished artist notes that a "small bronze" can be had for "less than you paid for your laptop."

Seems to me that not only is the city's idea out of line with the ordinary costs of water fountains, but also is way out of line with the ordinary price for art.

"Government money--means you never have to figure out the value of a dollar."


pentamom said...

I'm sympathetic to NToM's point, but how many of us actually pay $2000 for a laptop? A good number of people, yes -- but those are the sort of people who undermine his point that the average guy can afford good, original art, because those aren't average people, unless somehow it's a business-related expenditure. And I think he was had by someone if he really thinks that the average American household has THREE 42" TV's. Three TV's may be a valid stat, but I'd guess that very few people have more than one over 30", even in our notoriously electronically decadent society.

Nonetheless, that's beside the very valid point of your post about the water fountains. I was just a little taken aback by his definition of ordinary expenditures that could be replaced by good art.

Bike Bubba said...

She, actually. Good points--one of these days I'm going to try again to get my mind around the arts. I can see the Biblical imperative for it from the Temple decorations, but putting it into today's context is a bit harder.

Sarah said...

You *can* get a small bronze for $2000, but the cost of art varies wildly. A lot of it depends on the fame of the artist. I know college students with mac laptops that retail for over $2K.

I live in the DC metro area, where 5000 square foot homes are not unusual at all. There is an obscene amount of wealth here. Heck, even in my rinky-dinky run-down neighborhood, there are several Hummers. We spent $1000 on a television and could have purchased a nice oil instead. We ALL make these decisions about where to put our money.

The point remains that Americans spend a lot of money on things that aren't necassary (food, clothing, shelter) but not on art.