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Social stratification of art

23 January 2001

This is an attempt to portray the social stratification of the German art scene (or better artists' scene).

diagram of social sdtratification of art

Start from the lower realms - arts and crafts, hobbyists striving to get recognition by professionals. Some manage to get into the

BBK (Bund Bildender Künstler) which is a professional organisation of artists offering services and also to some extent opportunities for exhibiting.

Since so many bad artists (let’s leave aside the definition of ‘bad’ here) are in the BBK, many ambitious artists stay clear of it (expressed through the gap) although being member has practical advantages - I think you need to be in it for joining German public health assurance for artists. This is what I call limbo state - they all struggle for recognition an success while keeping afloat above what they perceive as the lower realms. The upper layer of this limbo hosts those that have found a gallery to represent them.

The cloud above limbo state stands for the Deutsche Künstlerbund, an organisation characterised by the fact that you cannot apply to enter - you are called into this upper echelon (that's what the hand stands for).

Last update: 01 August 2004 | Impressum—Imprint