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[BKARTS] Book Artists Unite?



Look at all the problems artists have had getting recognition, Diego Rivera
for one, his "Man at the Crossroads" 1933, was commissioned by Rockefeller
under the NRA, and yet when the mural displayed scenes offensive to
Rockefeller and his paternalistic ideals, Rivera quit the project in
mid-course and Rockefeller had the entire mural destroyed and removed so
that a void occupies the space where one of the greatest murals known to man
might've stood to this very day in Radio City, NYC.   

 

These struggles are similar to the type we independent book artists face
when we value our work at a much higher premium that the Other is willing to
pay.   

 

And sadly, as it was an economic consideration of Rockefeller not approving
the socialist tone of Rivera's work that led to its demise, so too are many
of us underpaid or at the hands for the commissioner when performing a job.


 

This is why the Guild and CBBAG need to organize in its meeting of standards
and establish a fair wage for fair works act that would be binding between
client and artist.  And yes, I am suggesting some sort of unionization and
affiliation of protection for those of us who work independently and who
need such protection.  

 

If I spend my time and materials in excess of what I am being paid is that
fair?  A Union of Book Artists would protect us against such usury.  

 

That too is ethics in action.  

 

Those of you fortunate enough to be employed in the Book Arts field know
little or nothing of the struggling artist's plight, or perhaps you do.  All
I know is that I work for peanuts and pour my heart into my art/work, ethics
or not.    

 

The "who" of what is appreciated, that is the artist that created the work,
is as valuable as the "how" precious her/his work is seen.  

 

John Miller 

Baltimore, MD


                                    
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