Field of Science

Much ado about very little: office art

Our local newspaper sounded the outrage about a relatively minor government official who bought “over $1000 of art” for their office.  Now there are several things wrong here, so let’s look at them in no particular order.  “Over $1000 of art” is obviously meant to enrage the taxpayer that so much of their money was spent on art.  The amount was actually something like $1027, yes, over $1000, but $1000? That’s not a lot of art. The Phactors have several pieces in their living room (well, at least 4) that cost more than $1000 each.  So what are we talking here?  Oh, 5 or 6 framed prints or something like that for just over $1000, so just about nothing. Now the real outrage should be that tax money was spent on cheap-ass, knock-off  pseudo-art that was probably bought to match their sofa.  But that isn’t the most troubling part.  What kind of cultural Philistine thinks art in a public work place is some kind of outrageous waste of tax money even if it is stuff?  This is a university city, so starving artists abound, and buying one nice piece of art from a local artist would be a better expenditure; local economy, quality of life, support the arts, and all that. Apparently if your workplace is a public one, then you should just live with the blank, institutional-pastel walls and be content in your bleak, soul-sucking, gray cubicle.  

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