Understanding The Cultural Value Of Art
It’s not an excellent market, I find, for what I do. My type of work doesn’t sell that well here and I enjoy my success internationally quite a bit. The En Masse project is different. Perhaps the En Masse project could only have been born in Montreal. It is a community that supports itself and each other very well, and has huge and deep interest in what’s happening.
I think Montreal is also a city that has become at least from an international perspective kind of like one of the crown jewels of Canada’s cultural industry. I mean, if you look at the circuses that have come from here, like the performance arts, the visual arts, the creative arts, the writing. I mean, Montreal has always been a hot bed and I think part of that successful formula is having a public that understands the role and value of art in society, and contributes to that. When you look at more perhaps conservative societies and communities in Canada for example, that’s a harder sell.
When I’m doing the same type of work here that I do here in Alberta for example, it’s an uphill battle. Whereas here, the door was open. We didn’t have to have the conversation as to why is art valuable? Like what is its meaning beyond something that will decorate your wall, or you put on your shirt, or what’s the deeper story here? And everybody resonates with that. When you talk to them about that, they’re like oh okay, but we take that for granted here.