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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

What makes the status of an artist

No matter how we turn the problem in all directions, it is the market that makes the artists.

The buyers make the art market, that is to say, collectors, gallery owners, but also the State. And if we say that it is the market that makes the artists, it is because the recognition of the status of the artist goes through their income, mainly the sale of their works. Because despite the abolition of the distinction between affiliates and taxable people, the criterion of annual income (nearly € 9,000) remains decisive for opening the rights to social protection of authors and thus being considered as an artist.

The alternative to the market would be the wage that would compensate for the work; in other words, the time spent by an artist to produce his work. But it is hard to imagine the painter or the plastic artist going to point to the gallery owner or a public person (State, local community) and work thirty-five hours a week at his employer.

The Racine report mentions a possible commission contract to compensate the artist working time but faced with the multiple operational, legal, and fiscal obstacles, he must turn to the Superior Council of Literary and Artistic Property.

The former president of the Center Pompidou and the BNF, and future director of the Pinault Collection in Venice must, therefore, rely on the criterion of non-salaried income to distinguish professional, occasional, and amateur artists. But it is trying to regulate the invisible hand of the market with devices that make it possible to reach this famous threshold. € 9,000 a year is not enough to make a living from your art, but this safety net keeps you waiting for commercial success, especially if the affiliate has other income. Note, by the way, that many professions are recognized, but complain of being discredited, unlike artists who enjoy a rather flattering image, but would like to be recognized.

In conclusion, the question is whether the market has the taste and knows how to recognize talent, but that's another story.

Le Journal des arts

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