Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

In a follow-up to her article on “The Art of Survival”, Chloe Govan says artistic struggles are not confined to the past, of course. What more appropriate time for a resurgence of adversity art than when the world is bearing the weight of the coronavirus pandemic?

Few industries have been hit as hard as the creative ones. As jobs have been culled and movements restricted, almost overnight the public’s priorities became as mundane as toilet paper and pasta, while ‘non-essential’ pleasures such as art and culture paled in comparison to the struggle for survival.

 

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Reports have since suggested that a third of French art galleries have been forced to permanently close in 2020, while Paris’s Rodin Museum was compelled to sell some of its beloved bronzes to stay afloat. Meanwhile one CEO left jaws dropping when he suggested that the Louvre sell off its most prized piece, the Mona Lisa, for €50bn to fill the financial deficit. Artist Claude Lévêque is concerned that art will be forgotten in the rush to rebuild. “Culture is not the government’s priority,” he says sadly. “It’s the economy… which is a catastrophe for visual art.”

 

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Meanwhile, creative self-expression still thrives on the streets, refusing to be extinguished even in the most troubling times. Parisian graffiti artist C215, billed as France’s answer to Banksy, is a prime example – his piece Love In The Time of Coronavirus, featuring a couple kissing through masks, quickly went viral.

Covid aside, other recent threats to artistic freedom include the 2015 attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices, when hard-line Islamic terrorists went on a killing spree in revenge for a political cartoon. Yet artists continued to fight back, creating ‘Je suis Charlie’ artworks in solidarity. And there was triumph amid tragedy during lockdown when a stolen Banksy mural honouring the 2015 Bataclan terrorist attack was found in an Italian farmhouse and restored to France. Vive l’art!

Related article: Go for a museum hop from the comfort of home

From France Today magazine

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Chloe Govan
Chloe Govan is an award-winning writer and channel-hopping Francophile with a penchant for Parisian life. After achieving degrees in Psychology and Magazine Journalism and working as a travel editor and columnist, she developed her freelance career, during which she authored 11 books. Whether she is sleeping in a bubble under the stars in the forests around Marseille or horse-back riding with the chateaux of the Loire Valley as a backdrop, her heart can often be found somewhere in France.

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