• re: Is the art world divided along class lines? Call to a conversation/collaboration

    Hi Tuomas

    I certainly think that art is divided along class lines, the are families who have introduced their children to art from an early age, and it is like a custom to attend gallery exhibitions, talks and theaters etc.

    In South Africa my experience is academic class had their own functions and understanding of art as a medium of practice and would encourage their children to participate if willing.

    Sophiatown in Gauteng was the place where one saw a boom of art practitioners before the force removals of the 1950s. Most popular was singing and acting, which was more accessible to the people who didn't neccessarily come form academic backgrounds. Painters and other artist who were working weren't much recognized by the larger communities beside where they lived

    In the townships, after the removals we also had our own theaters and art practitioners, the difference is the education and knowledge of art as a medium of practice was not excised and promoted to being a career. It always seen as a past time activity

    Only recently we have a galleries in the township, and we are seeing the same boom of Sophiatown days happen again. In my case my family was working class, They were not aware that i could chose photography as a career and practice it, i was told i would only photography people on the streets and make lousy money, so i had to prove myself within my own family and teach them that there is more to it.

    Where as i study with other kids who went to art school form high school and they already had an idea of t what the art industry entails, so i think although a shift is happening, the division still exist. Now my struggle is teaching my family and surrounding neighbors  the importance of collecting art and archiving it,  in contrast to the academic families who have had an understanding of this concept from an early age.