Art vs Commerce

The premise of the Pop Life exhibition was to explore the link between art and commerce as initiated by Warhol and his many commercial tie-ins and spin-offs and later by Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami and their various enterprises.

It made me finally realise that in today’s popular culture there are few successful creative artists who don’t consider the benefits of the commercial hook-up. Whether it’s a musician or actor sidestepping into modelling (Lily Allen for Chanel, Eva Mendes for Calvin Klein Jeans), an actor/model/singer dabbling in fashion design (Emma Watson for People Tree, Kate Moss for Topshop, Victoria Beckham) or an impoverished fashion designer embracing other more lucrative opportunities (PPQ for Sky+, Giles Deacon for Cadbury’s), the days of the creative who was famous for one thing and stuck to it are long gone. These days, it’s a given that anything is possible.

It’s hard for me to accept because I would prefer people stick to what they’re good at but as a creative myself, I know how hard it is to resist the lure of the commercial. However much creative integrity one may have, ultimately everyone has their price.