What's your stand on the question of the commerciality of art? Does commercial art fulfill the idea (or the ideal) of art or is it merely a business meant to rake in money on consumers that appear to buy what's offered?

The question (or more like the brief) is already biased, I apologize, but open to all answers and arguments that promote either free art or commercial art and the pragmatic (and mostly, humanitarian) purposes of either one.


In my opinion, there is no commercial art. When you produce something with the intention to sell it, it is a product and not an artwork. So for me, the purpose is the deciding factor, if something is art or not.

As an example:

The music industrie vs. homemade music:

The music industrie engineers songs on purpose. From the start, the songs are written for specific customers. Then to whole production uses techniques to create a product for these customers. -> Product

When someone is expressing his feelings into music, writing a song for himself to express them, it becomes art. The best thing that happens to music, is if untrained people sit in front of instruments and try to get something emotional out, without using all the patterns used before-> Artwork

So imho commercial art is a product and no art in the sense of art. For me art is the expression of emotions and creativity without knowing exactly what you do.

  • Ok, so by this token you're saying that "art" is explicitly free (in the monetary sense)? And commercial art cannot fulfill the term "art" for you. I see your point, but ofc this is only a particular view on what's "art" :) Good answer.
    – mavavilj
    Oct 6 '13 at 16:01
  • And this makes me also think that my initial thought of commercial art in the question was limited. Because sure, if "art" is placed or made for the purpose of a product, I do think it's really product design, more than "art". It becomes more interesting in how ought we think about commercial art, which is not product design, e.g. commercial films (depending on how we want to define them, are they made for business i.e. as products or as art).
    – mavavilj
    Oct 6 '13 at 16:06
  • Yeah for commercial films we use already existing workflows and motifs, that are sure to succeed and satisfy the regular customer. Before those workflows and motifs were created by people that created some kind of art. Oct 6 '13 at 17:36

I think there is here a notion of property. If you like the idea that the artistic object producted is the property of his (or her) producer, then it can be the property of anyone else. And be sold, because this is the way human beeings process when they exchange things.

An artwork si one more "thing" among all the things humanity produces. Producing a painting for example is a competence and you can be paid for it. There is no contradiction between this idea and the process of producing any artwork.

If art was only pure emotion it would'nt belong to anyone and could'nt be sold...

I think that your real question should be "Where art begins and/or ends"

  • I'll pose a counter example/question: scientific inventions are usually public domain and so are e.g. mathematical ideas, if they're published for free that is. To me they're on the level of creativity and substance of art, being immaterial and being produced by human creativity. So why don't we see mathematics or scientific ideas necessarily as being owned (as we always see artistic works), other than when they're tied to patents?
    – mavavilj
    Oct 6 '13 at 17:30
  • Because science can be discussed, proved and is a tool that's never finished. An artwork might be an idea at the beginning but it's aiming to be solid as a book or a painting. If you want to make a comparasion between science and Art, let's talk about music Scales are nobody's property they just exist, like mathematics. Oct 7 '13 at 17:59
  • mathematics are nothing more than a language developping itself with the scientific community from thousands of years. It's the same for the language of music. Many creations made with both languages are not free. maybe because mathematicians an composers have to eat, dress up and live in a decent house. If the person who take their garbage out are paid, why would'nt they? because they are linked to something spiritual? Some people can decide they give their work for free, some don't. Oct 7 '13 at 18:11

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