T Magazine: What Does It Really Mean to Make Art?

Reconsiders exceptionalism between aesthetics and politicsImplicit in the phrase “the artist’s life” is the idea that this is a life apart. We are not so quick to rhapsodize about the insurance agent’s life or the plumber’s. As the cultural critic Arne de Boever argues in Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism, the reverential way we speak about art invests the artist with a sovereignty akin to that of a monarch or even a god, unbound by the laws that rein in the rest of us. And so the artist remains a collective fantasy, an imagined rebel on the fringes, heroically immune to propriety and the demands of capitalism, who rejects work in the conventional, soul-deadening sense, who needn’t produce according to a schedule or answer to a boss or please anyone but themselves.

Full article at New York Times. 

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