Artists become famous through friends, not quality of their work

Artists become famous through friends, not quality of their work

Summary

Fame as an Illusion of Creativity: Evidence from the Pioneers of Abstract Art – study made on abstract art movement (1910–25) found that quality of art does not translate into an increased level of recognition (or fame). Neither an expert measure of creativity, nor a computational measure of an artist’s novelty, calculated through machine learning, mediated the relationship between an artist’s local network structure and their fame. Those individuals who possessed a diverse set of personal friends and professional contacts from different industries (an artist in a “cosmopolitan” network position) were statistically more likely to become famous. Those who had influential networks that were more homogenous (i.e. overlapped on each other) were, on the other hand, less likely to achieve wide-reaching recognition.

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As discussed on
Marc Andressen on Koppleman Podcast

If you do film go to LA, if if arts go to NY, if code go to SF

"Marc: And part of it is you should get into a scene. So this is part of it. By the way, this also goes to another kind of view of unfairness right now which is like, okay, why do all the great movies and TV shows get made… why do the vast majority get made in LA.? Like, that’s so unfair to people. There are people who, like, try to make movies in San Francisco, and they’ll tell you like, “It’s so unfair. Like, it’s just so much easier to do this in LA. Like, it should be easy to do this…” We get this in the startup world, like, why are a disproportionate number of startups built in Silicon Valley? Isn’t it unfair that you don’t have equal odds of doing this if you’re in Topeka? ...

Brian: Yah Tony Hsieh calls them “collision spaces ... this amplifying effect is that, if you’re good… if you’re really good at this stuff, don’t necessarily think about people, always think about the buyer. People are always like, “How can I get an agent? How can I get a buyer?” As opposed to, “How can I show my work to other artists who can help platform it? ... The best way to get an agent is to have some artist who thinks you’re great, who’s represented by that agent, tell that agent, right?"