Yes, why do artists tend to congregate in working class places? Is it because of cheap (that is, free) studios and accommodation? Is it because they are poor and will use any place, anywhere. I’ve been thinking about this on and off over the last few weeks, especially after returning to read some of Negri’s material on workerism (operaismo). For Negri, the real creativity and innovation happens with workers, to which capital and power respond. So how about art? Perhaps this is why artists end up so often in working class towns, like my home town. That would put paid to the elitism of the artsy fartsy crowd, which likes to think that their refined sensibilities are the key to artistic creativity, and to those deluded wannabe artists who believe that fripperies such as ‘bohemian culture’ are a must.

Lenin fallen, after the assassination attempt: ‘V.I. Lenin and the Workers’ (1967).

More on a similar theme here.

Time to give something new a go, so I am one of the three judges in the Blake Prize in Religious Art for 2012. This prize is fairly prestigious (more than I realized) and has been around for 60 years. My job, or so I am told, is to provide judging advice on religious content.