Does the idea of having surgeons, oppress and exclude all the people who are not surgeons, don't want to be surgeons, but may need them at some stage in their life? No.... but in the arts, high-quality achievement is often considered that way, especially within modernism, be it in the visual arts or in music. It explains the populism of concept art (everybody can make it and it is made for anybody without aesthetic 'Bildung') and the state-subsidized nonsense at new music festivals in Europe. It is the idea that skills, which are hard to learn and for which one needs to have a natural talent, are exclusive, denigrating people without such talents, while it is assumed that every person has the right to share the assets of the world, of the community, and its riches, and has the right to have and to exercise his/her creative ideas. It is, basically, a socialist idea, which is entirely justified in material terms but stops at the arts, where having creative ideas is not the end but merely the very beginning of any artistic undertaking. Excellence in whatever profession is exclusive, but it is needed for and dedicated to the entire community, and that also counts for the arts, which require excellent skills like any other endeavor of importance.
Acquiring the necessary skills is the basis of an artist's work, if he/she is serious about it. Artistic quality and expression, as well as the artist's personal signature, cannot exist without it. But in modernism, it is the idea, the creativity of having an idea, that is often enough, and that makes it populist: talent and skills are not necessary for having creative ideas; these are considered authoritarian and elitist.
Alexander Gorlizki is an up-and-coming artist… [whose] work has been displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Denver Art Museum and Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, among others, and sells for up to $10,000. Mr. Gorlizki lives in New York City. The paintings are done by seven artists who work for him in Jaipur, India. “I prefer not to be involved in actually painting,” says Mr. Gorlizki, who adds that it would take him 20 years to develop the skills of his chief Indian painter, Riyaz Uddin. “It liberates me not being encumbered by the technical proficiency,” he says. Stan Sesser, “The Art Assembly Line” in The Wall Street Journal (June 3, 2011). www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303745304576357681741418282.