Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Traditionally, "business" and "art" were considered separate and mutually exclusive domains. However, the last few decades have seen a blending of the categories, where former businessmen like Jeff Koons pursued lucrative art careers and many businessmen, like Rupert Murdoch or Sir Richard Branson, represented themselves to the public as "artists".

Using classical definitions, an Artist is someone who is skilled in Art, namely representation -- a person who is rich in leisure and subject to imaginative visions, while business is defined by the absence of leisure (negotium) -- a complete focus on the hear and now. There has always been one kind of artist who bridged the two diametrically opposed psychological states, and this person was called the "confidence artist", whose Art was entirely dedicated to the representation of himself as a person engaged in business. Come to think of it, if we accept the con man as a bridge between the worlds of Ars and Negotium, there is no need to create a new category to describe the contemporary world's "artist business man" and "businessman artist".

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