Author Michael Lind weighs in with this thought-provoking essay about what happens when an art form shrinks to a niche market. Using literature and architecture as examples, he organizes major and minor arts horizontally, based on audience size:
Today’s minor arts, I think, include theater, ballet, opera, symphonic music and literary fiction. These still include small audiences whose members are not also creators, audiences who patronize these arts in part out of an inherited feeling that these are superior to movies or genre fiction.
With the exception of rap, which has a mass audience, poetry has moved from the category of a minor art to a craft. In the course of numerous readings of my own published verse, I gradually came to the conclusion that almost everyone in the audience at a poetry reading is a poet or aspiring poet. My guess is that a majority of people who read poetry also write poetry.
I've long held that most of the people engaged in an occupation are primarily in conversation with others in their field, whether it's politics, or fashion, or sports, or technology, or academia. It's rare to have an effect on those outside one's profession, or craft, or hobby.
From Poesy to Carrot Carnations When arts die, they turn into hobbies. (via Drexel University)
Image: Garnish by Stu Spikack
Ceramic artist Richard Notkin is famed for his clay teapots, inspired by the traditional Yixing style from China but forming a vehicle for political commentary in the west. In the interview above, you can see him work: “the vessel is the primary canvas of ceramics and the teapot is the most complex of vessels.” [via […]
Originating in the 15th century, kintsugi is the Japanese art/craft of repairing cracks in pottery by obviously filling in the breaks with lacquer and gold or other precious metals to celebrate the imperfections. Artist Victor Solomon, whose “Literally Balling” series is about basketball and opulence, applied kintsugi to a deteriorating basketball court in southern Los […]
Freeman Vines is a luthier in Fountain, North Carolina. For half a century, he’s crafted beautiful guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch Black people. Vines deeply moving work is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree Guitars, with tintype images by Timothy Duffy and essays by Zoe Van Buren […]
If you want swole arms cut like tree trunks, you start savaging the curl bars. If you want to sculpt a tight, firm core, you have lots of planking and bridges in your future. So what do you do if you want to knock out that double chin? Or put a little added definition into […]
Considering the state of our world, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to find lots and lots of people pushed to their breaking point. Anxiety and stress are often constant companions during the best of times. But now, with fear and frustration running rampant, it’s easy to be subsumed by all the distractions and […]
Most of us aren’t constantly beset by poor posture. But all it takes is some subtle misalignment while you’re doing serious hours behind the wheel driving or working away at a desk to do a real number on your back. In fact, most of us are so unaware of the mechanics of good posture that […]