When it comes to the valuation of art, I’m a pessimist. Especially after the experiences I made as a musician in Germany, before moving to Ireland.
In direct comparison (although I’m not an expert) I would say there is a noticeable difference between Germany and Ireland when it comes to the valuation of art and acceptance of new artists. From what I’ve seen, the independent artists here in Ireland are much more easier accepted as artists by the public than in Germany, where most artists are only considered so when this is declared as profession on their tax declaration.
I am not saying that this makes it easier to become an artist and make money with your art for an Irish artist, but when I look at the tax differences between Ireland (where artists pay no income tax at all) and Germany for example, for me it seems Germany puts more emphasis on higher education and degrees than Ireland does, and therefore makes it a bit harder to find your way as an emerging artist, whatever area you specialise in – may that be music or visual arts.
Therefore it’s good that there is still a lively and thriving independent art scene in Germany, and together with state-aided festivals, exhibitions and fairs there are possibilities for newly graduated students from art colleges to exhibit their work. One of these possibilities is new talents – biennale köln, a bi-annual arts festival in my hometown, Cologne. This year, over 50 artists from German and European art colleges – Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen, Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul- will present their work from many different areas (music, graphic & media art, film and design) from the 12th of June on.
Initiatives like this are vital for a thriving arts scene, and to create platforms for emerging artists without any other funding and support. And as countries across Europe are closing ranks, especially in the arts, maybe smaller countries like Ireland can influence their peers when it comes to the valuation of art.
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