Does Talent Matter?

What is talent? Is it skill? Is it theory? Is it marketing? Hmm…how do the powers that be choose what is, and isn’t worthy?

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Ledger 1982 by Robert Ryman born 1930

ABOVE: Robert Ryman, Ledger, 1982, enamelac paint on fibreglass & aluminium and wood, 30 x 28 x 1.4 inches, Tate Britain, Photo: © Tate, London [2014]

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“I’m not limited by a certain narrative that I want to get across. There’s no symbolism or story that I need to tell or some kind of political project that I might want to do.” Robert Ryman

“I’m not physically involved in the production. I don’t have the necessary abilities, so I go to the top people.” Jeff Koons

“The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.” Damien Hirst

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Does talent matter at the top of the art world? If so, how is it quantified?

To many, talent refers to technical skill, but:

You don’t need to know how to draw, paint, or sculpt to be successful.

To others, talent refers to ideas, but:

You need a fancy degree (lots of $’s) in order to be taken seriously.

Hmm. How do the powers that be choose the art stars of tomorrow?

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