Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
The way I understand it, George Grosz and Weiland Herzefeld were bemoaning the "danger to art" caused by the strict limits being imposed on art by politics and commecialism. As I see it - this is a call for re-introducing FREEDOM into art - translation: "Do your own thing - and save art."
Quite the opposite. To retreat into what's so glibly described as "true" art -- that is, self-involved art and "self-expression" -- is to fail. As Grosz writes: "No answer is an answer." Or:
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  • [The artist of today] must choose... Either way, he must give up 'pure art.' Either he joins the ranks of engineers, architects, and ad men whom the industrial powers employ and the world exploits, or he becomes a depicter and critic who critques the face of our time...
The initial post in this thread, by focussing primarily on the perceived "status" of art and artists among themselves, belies an inherently bourgeois notion about the function of art -- as a verification of a fixed social hierarchy and as a mechanism to satisfy desire for status. Not the notion, as Michael Smith says, of creating from their need to create, but art (and even art creation) as merely a sort of investment.

This is all fine, actually. Art workers need to eat too. But to put on airs about it, whether of the beret-wearing above-the-social order type, or the radically indignant sandinista, is to be pointlessly sidetracked by words.