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Prosperity and Art

Are personal and/or national prosperity bad for the various forms of art? Do hard times make for better art than good times? In the film Big Fish, Tim Burton’s portrayal of the town of Spectre suggests that painlessness numbs creativity. Is this true or not? Am I alone in hating the synth-pop soundtracks and big hair of so many ’80’s movies?

  • I think to some extend suffering does breed art. I recommend mentioning how most great works of art are indeed about some kind of struggle or sorrow that is either overcome or not. Your last sentence seems completely irrelevant. – luminousgloom 5 years ago
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  • The 80's was a decade of huge economic growth and really bad music and movies. As great an artist as Bob Dylan was artistically MIA in the 80's. Using the word struggle is interesting. Hitler was an artist (a failed postcard painter) and his Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was shaped by Germany's post-treaty of Versailles depression. Hard times may not be good or bad, artistically or otherwise, just fertile. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • Art is an expression and often can illuminate problems in a new light and create discussion on them. Without much uncertainty/injustice it is true that art tends to become a hobby and more introspective, if you're current world isn't trembling enough to pay attention to. Take the censorship of eastern european cinema in the latter half of the 20th century. Some brilliant directors (an endless list from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic etc.) risked their life subverting the censors because they considered it imperative to make a film for the public which exposed/criticized the regime. To varying degrees they used elaborate allegory's or had to leave more literal criticisms out for the audience to deduce (ie. a character disappearing by means of secret police). And the effect of their hard work to even get these films made (most were scrapped or banned) is rewarded in their universal quality and the censorship provoked richer films. – JamieMadden 5 years ago
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