Sunday, February 17, 2019

Tidal Washes Over Artists

by Lumiere (writer), NYC, April 03, 2015

Credit: Denis Sinyakov & Lex Lumiere
MIA: We Need A Freedom Fighter For All Artists Prosperity

Jay Z's new Streaming Service Generates Revenue for one Genre of the Arts Community, while Forgetting the Needs of other Artists. Danger of the Creative Double Standard.

Do you know how much was #PAID to #Artists for all the thousands of #FREE #ArtForFreedom #Art & #Concepts submitted to MDNA? Nada. The creative concepts and artwork submitted was for #Charity in exchange for #Unlimited usage of an #Artists work without #Payment. This is not uncommon Creative Abuse, as many Musicians and Celebrities circumvent payment for creative artwork by holding Art Contests where they receive unlimited amounts of #VisualArt and #CreativeConcepts for #Free, which are used for years after the fact. Free #Publicity on #Celebrity Social Media accounts does not necessarily translate to #Sales or #IncomeGeneration. Many of these #Artists who submit #Art are paid #Nothing for their Creative Work but we should pay for #Music because it holds more creative #Value right?

We call this a #DoubleStandard

The #Arts encompass much more than just the #Music Genre. Many musicians whom have reached a certain level of #Success act as though it was purely their #Talent, #GoodLooks and #HardWork that got them to that point. When in #Truth, the #CreativeTeams, #PR and #Management Teams behind them and the #Visual Image of their #Brand are what contribute to the overall #Level of #Success they are at now. The people who #Believed in them, #Signed them, took #FinancialRisks to #Promote their #Talent, #Polished their #Brand and made them #Consumable to a #MassMarket for which they reap the financial rewards rarely receive the #Credit or the #Limelight for their hard work, especially long term. Celebrity and Fame may appear like a one person circus act, but it is the #Army behind the curtain that makes it happen. If you do not believe me consider where #CreativeCelebrities Careers would be if everyone who contributed to their success up to this point went on strike for a year due to a #Lack of residual payments. Makes you wonder why the #ArtsCommunity, with so many successful #CreativeCelebrities as a whole still #Struggles to survive.

The 16 #Musicians with ownership of #TIDAL together on Financial #Interest alone could #Fund every school #Arts and #Music Education program with VH1 Save The Music Foundation and Americans for the Arts if they #Genuinely wanted to #SaveTheFutureOfMusic and the #Arts at the #GrassRootsLevel since #Art and #Music programs around the country are closing due to lack of #Funds for #Instruments and lack of qualified #Teachers. #TIDAL artists could begin with their own #Hometowns and empower the #MusicTeachers #ArtPrograms and #ArtSchools financially via the TIDAL streaming service or through #Grants to actual #Artists, not just themselves.

As you are aware #Creative Teams include many types of #Talent: #Art, #ArtistsConcepts, #Writers, #ArtDirectors #CreativeDirectors and #Artwork(s) which are often taken, #Stolen and #Copied from other #VisualArtists by #Musicians or #CreativeCelebrities and their #FilmProducers without #Pay for use in #MusicVideos, #Branding and #SocialMediaCampaigns.

One of the best examples of a Artist being aware of #Exploiting another Artists #Artwork is the #Video for #Vogue. Many of the scenes of the music video are recreations of photographs taken by noted photographer Horst P. Horst, including his famous "Mainbocher Corset", "Lisa with Turban" (1940), and "Carmen Face Massage" (1946). Horst was reportedly "displeased" with the Musicians video because he never gave his permission for his photographs to be used and received no acknowledgement or payment to date up unto his death, or after to his estate or family since, from the Musician. Explain to me #why when the Musician behind Vogue has achieved such a heightened level of commercial success not to be in integrity and pay what is owed to those artists, when they #Expect payment for their music via streaming and to be respected as an artist? Visual Arts and other Art forms deserve the same level of #Respect as Music.

Some of the close-up poses in Vogue also recreated noted portraits of such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and Jean Harlow without photography credit. (Additionally, several stars of this era were name-checked in the song's lyrics.) Several famous Hollywood portrait photographers whose style and #Conceptual works are also referenced without Credit or Payment including George Hurrell, Eugene Robert Richee, Don English, Whitey Schafer, Ernest Bachrach, Scotty Welbourne, and Clarence Sinclair Bull. Do you think their Estates or Families are getting streaming income every time their #Images and #Concepts are played on television?

Unapologetically not.

A more recent example would be the lawsuit between Pharell and Marvin Gaye's family being awarded $7.3 million in the "Blurred Lines" court case with Pharrell Williams. Although I appreciate his music, the Gaye family should never had to take him to court when he knew he was sampling another Artists work. Again, going back to the issue of Creative Integrity.

Although an Artist may be generous for charitable reasons, which I respect. If you want people paying for your Product, don't behave like a greedy Artistic Vampire unable to change, acknowledge or pay others for their creative contributions to your #Brands success. Set the example. Make Amends. Restitution is the Honorable thing to do.

Although Visual Artists are often generous to contribute imagery to #Musicians projects and careers, based on the examples above there is a lack of #Support and #FinancialAccountability by #AffluentMusicians in the rest of the #ArtsCommunity to #Pay other #Artists for their usage of #Non-commissioned work in and beyond the musical scope, although they perceive their own work to be worthy of #Payment and #Value. Which is rather Hypocritical and demeans the craftsmanship and talent of the Arts Community as a whole.

When you say TIDAL is not about " Consumption and Greed," funding one $19.5 Mil Beverly Hills Mansion, a $20 Mil Luxury Penthouses in New York City and Tel Aviv, I honestly don't believe you as an elitist Lifestyle has to be maintained. While other artists outside the bubble of the entertainment theatrics struggle. The problem is when an Artist becomes successful and no longer smells the stench of his or her own arrogant crap because they have been sitting in their dirty diaper of luxury too long. Forgetting that their "PayCheck" and their "Talent" was cultivated by their Hometown Education, their Families who loved them, people who Raised them as Children, Fans who funded them, and the support of an entire Arts Community that empowered them and nurtured their success. There is a Creative Responsibility that all Artists have to give back to the Arts Community, and giving back is not a one way street of everyone else simply giving back for the benefit of your career and extravagant lifestyles. Music is one slice of the entire Arts pie, that sometimes forgets in the clouds of mary jane jet fuel, to take into consideration the needs of the rest of the Creative Community and young Talent waiting to be Cultivated.

Due to a lack of funds, many young #Artists cannot afford to continue their #ArtsEducation. #Artists in the #ArtsCommunity are unable to afford both #Studios and #LivingSpaces like the once infamous #CarnegieLofts to continue their creative work or just to continue #TeachingArt to make a living. The #Grants and #ArtScholarships often stay floating at the #Top of supposed #ArtsOrganizations, like sharks circling their Board of Directors obsessed with titles and not practical day-to-day reality. Rarely, if at least annually do funds make their way into the actual artists pockets to pay for day to day necessities, bills, studio space or a decent quality of life. Naturally effecting the volume of work an artist produces and sells. While Multi-Millionaire #Musicians are worried about the next .99 Cent download, #Nielsen ratings effected by #Streaming, hindering their #Domino of #EgoBasedPopularity, artists in the rest of the Arts Community are struggling nationwide and internationally to make their artistic #Sales goals and stay afloat in a recovering economy.

One example of " Saving the Future of Music " is over a dozen opera companies have closed across the country since 2009 and many more are in dire financial straits. Why? If the " Musical Artists" of TIDAL are so concerned about preserving the "Art of Music for Future Generations." Why not incorporate the Opera Houses into your current art form and breathe life into them, giving them exposure to the masses. Share the Wealth. Unless of course you do not consider Opera part of the Musical Family, for which #MusicalEducation originates dating back to 1637 as the Teatro San Cassiano was the first opera house in Venice, Italy. Which drives home an issue, if you are an Affluent Musician try to remember you are not the only art form or #Artist that has to #Survive financially and your extravagant spending can be better directed to benefit the Arts Community and Artists as a whole.

When you take the time analyze the Future of preserving Art / Music History be honest with yourselves about the the bleak outlook of Art Curriculum in Public Schools, and with the closure of CBGB's, Lenox Lounge and St. Nick's Jazz Pub in NYC (I loved that tiny place.) Why are these Historical Musical locations rich with Music and Art History closing with so many affluent #Musicians capable of creating Musical Historical Districts and Kid Friendly Education Epicenters in Harlem on 135th, NYC and in Beale, St in New Orleans? There is no excuse in terms of money, and the level of success some Musicians have reached for these places to be destroyed due to neglect when they should be thriving for children and people to fall in love with the Arts and Music over and over again. Don't you dare tell me you want to " Save the Future of Music and the Artistry of Musicians" if you are not sincere and passionate enough to do the work required at a grass roots level to Save the Arts. In order to do so the egos and financial hoarding will have to be cast aside for the benefit of everyone in the Arts Community and Artists across all genres to Prosper. Consider mentoring a young artist and taking them under your wings or adopting a local artist or gallery from your hometowns, in and beyond your expertise, as the Arts embraces many styles of personal expression. American Idol, and the Voice seem to give all of us a creative platform to aspire to as they contain within the television program grains of humility and a willingness to share their educational and professional experience coaching stars on the rise.

If you think I am picking on Musicians I am not, for the #NFL and their fake " Non-Profit," should also be following the same protocol and returning to rebuild the schools athletic departments and programs that trained them before they became Professionals. The fact that they make more money than the highest paid surgeon in the State in which they reside, and the US President is disgusting. Especially when the statistical majority of American families take home salary is $50,502 for a family of four. Pro Athletes in retirement often have nothing to show for their success in the end but bankruptcy, some addiction and dementia. Contractually, for the robbery they committed under the fraud of non-profit status, 50% of their income should be automatically rolled back into the Schools they attended in their youth.

One thing to keep an eye on is Amendments to the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act of 1975 where the agenda is to remove inheritance from your children. If this legislation slips through the cracks while we are distracted by un-educational media, our future offspring will start at sum zero. Mass population do not understand the process of Legislation or fighting corrupt Bills, so using the Arts to educate them is beneficial to everyone involved. This being said, consider having your finances positioned to benefit the Arts Community and Education Programs for future generations of children who may not enjoy the Freedoms of Speech we have today. The Arts are a powerful communication tool that can pierce through any veils of oppression and evil with the light of truth. If you have traveled the world, you know what I mean, we take our freedoms of expression for granted, so yield your gifts wisely. If we can recognize needs beyond our self centered creative Tree, the entire Artsy Forest can continue to Thrive in Living Color.

Although Musicians are talented, a certain level of success and financial abundance appears to cause them to be unaware and out of touch with the true needs of local struggling Artists outside of their creative bubble of affluence, fan base or entourage. To add insult to injury it is common knowledge that many Musicians and #CelebrityArtists often hoard #RealEstateProperty that sits #Empty for months, living extravagantly while Artists in other Creative Fields go unnoticed scraping by just to #Survive, #Eat or find affordable #Studio and #Living Space or #ArtMaterials to continue working. What about building or investing in #AffordableArtStudioSpaces that don't sit empty that can generate a return on your investment and let you plug into the Art Community. The synergy that once existed between #Musicians and #VisualArts and other artistic expression needs to be revitalized for the success of all Artists and Art Communities. Digital technology takes away the humanity- the visceral and tactile experience of the artistic process, collaborate with artists outside your own Art Field. A quick raid of any #CreativeCelebrity closet on #MTVCribs or #MySweetSixteen would yield an abundance of merchandise with enough value to sponsor several thousand #StarvingArtists for years. A little less wasteful spending, and a lot more #Support and #Consideration of other artists #CreativeProjects #Careers and #Financial needs beyond their own Musical sphere would be #Welcomed.

#Musicians and #CelebrityArtists need to remember that the other #ArtFields are not easily consumable like #MusicDownloads in mass quantity to generate wealth without de-valuing the creative work (ie...original paintings, limited edition photographs, theatrical work, sculptures, architecture, fashion collections, etc.) and therefore should be supported financially, publicity wise and promptly paid with integrity to maintain the #Integrity of #Relationships between #Artists, the perceived value of the Arts, Artwork(s) and the Art Community as a whole.

Quality of Life for all Artists is imperative, including Healthcare, Illegal Theft of Visual Art / Photographs without Payment via the Internet or by other Artists. Not just illegal downloading of Music and Copyright law effects more than just #Musicians in the Creative Community. TIDAL needs to think bigger to embrace #ArtInAllForms & provide a #TechnologicalPlatform to #CreateFinancialStability and #Security for all #ArtistsCareers; Theater, Actors, Dancers, Beauty: Hair & Make-Up, Fashion Design, Photography, Graphic Design, Opera, Cinematography, Actors, Painters, Architects, Visual Arts, Sculpture, etc. Creative Fields which have limited #Unions and #LaborProtections, but have contributed to the #Success of many Affluent Musicians and Celebrity Artists works and financial stability with their #Talent. When #TIDAL raises the bar for all #Artists, we will be #Happy to #Support you but for now, #NotACustomer. #TIDAL should strive to create creative wealth beyond one sector of the Arts Community (Music). Create a win-win for all of us in the Arts Community to not just survive but prosper.

TIDAL needs to come back down to earth as a community for #All Artists rights and financial prosperity, to not appear like a greedy musical #Monopoly for a select few wanting to maintain the #CreativeWealth streaming into their own pockets while other #VisualArtists whose services they #Utilize for their own success and popularity are forced to go unpaid in exchange for credit (aka free work.) Do you really think the #Artist or #Make-Up / Hairstylist who created the #CoverArt or #Concept Look for every #CD, #Single, #TShirt #Video #Product #PromoArt for every #Musician since their Career began gets paid #Royalties for #RepeatedUsage? No. What about all the Instagram posts when #Celebrities post other #Artists work without Credit to the Artist? Absolutely not, they #Use the #Artwork for Free and then #Complain about people not paying for their #Music.

My point being, #Musicians work is no more valuable than any other #Artists.

All Artists, not just musicians need a genuine #Residual stream of income, to have their creative Contributions, Concepts and Collaborations receive not only proper #Payment in a timely manner, but #Credit and #Recognition that creates genuine #Streaming financial stability for their own Creative Work and Quality of Life. If you want the rest of the Arts Community to Respect and Pay for your Musical Talent, respect and financially support our Talents as well. Reciprocity and generosity towards Artists across all creative genres is always appreciated.

#TeamworkMakesTheDreamwork #MoreThan1ArtFormNeedsFinancialSupport #NotBuyingMyArtNotBuyingYours #CreativeReciprocity101 #Residuals4AllArtists #TidalForAll #TIDAL #Music #Arts #AmericanIdol #TheVoice #Charity Beyoncé JAY Z Usher Rihanna Kanye West Jason Aldean Jack White Daft Punk Nicki Minaj Deadmouse Jack White Win Butler Alicia Keys Coldplay Jay Cole Material Girl Collection #FeedArt #Pharell #Horst #Music #CopyrightLaw #LexLumiere #Art4Charity

About the Writer

Native Texan full of Southern Charm, ;) Art Director and Fashion Photographer with a background in Luxury Apparel. Producer of a Television show called " Art4Charity " that spotlights Philanthropists, non-profits, volunteers, and companies doing positive deeds around the world. Volunteer Art Therapy teacher to homeless children and activist.
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4 comments on Tidal Washes Over Artists

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By riginal on April 03, 2015 at 08:38 am

wow! nice post, and this is exactly what the site needs. Opinions and diversity backed with facts. Gives the moderator 'meat to slice' as opposed to squeezing blackheads and selling flying vinyl. The arts is a hard road to hoe as i guess any artistic pursuit is otherwise i guess we'd all be rich and boring and that would be hard to take...for a few years. :>)

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