"It has become the conventional wisdom that hard times get the creative juices flowing. Busts — not booms — are the source of weightier, more substantial, art, the thinking goes."
writes A. G. Sulzberger in the New York Times Blog called "City Room". I'm skeptical, but there are many that believe that difficult times produce the greatest art, the best design.
I just finished a book that explores the same theme. It is called "Livable Modernism, Interior Decorating and Design during the Great Depression" by Kristina Wilson. She argues strongly that the Depression gave birth to a simple and efficient modern design aesthetic. I was disappointed that the book focused on residential design only, but her case about hard times triggering some important design can't be denied.
Sulzberger explains Laura Gilbert's new piece shown above; a creative response to the current economic disaster.
Ms. Gilbert headed to the Midtown headquarters of Citigroup to pass out more than 600 copies of her latest piece, called “The Bailout Bill,” over an hour.
It’s a print, a collage …The bill is set against a corroding silver and gold background. The names of various corporate culprits — AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide, Fannie Mae and Merrill Lynch — adorn the image. The prints are hand-signed and numbered.
Ms. Gilbert’s message is fairly simple: Nothing is worth anything anymore. And it’s all their fault. And when she hands copies of her work to employees, she wants them to know that.