George Filev started a career in circus and physical theatre in the year 1990. In over 20 years, he travelled the world performing in 30 countries and nearly 150 cities. Much of the work was produced for corporate events that were not in public view, and festivals that were staged in countries outside of Australia, his home country.
The hope is that through this site people will be encouraged to better value and support artists through a greater understanding of how an artists career develops over time; validate current arts practitioners, and motivate people to consider a journey into the arts. Feel free to explore documentation in the form of personal history, video footage, images from past gigs, interviews and publications. "The smallest encounter can create the biggest changes in our lives. Art, in its many forms, can do that."
Art and artistic pursuits are often undervalued in society because we too often look to economics to quantify the value of art. In reality, art offers enormous economic benefits to society through immediate and on-flow connection but investment in the arts is often sparse and lacking. Art can be an effective tool by acting as a catalyst for change and education. It can also be used to harm and misinform people when used as a vessel for propaganda. To witness the power of art just look around you. We are surrounded by the products of artisans wherever you look. The value of arts practitioners is overwhelming when you think about it. Why then are artists often dismissed as dreamers and layabouts and in many cases undervalued in society when they contribute so much for so little? My belief is that the act of quantifying art is problematic in itself because art is so subjective. What one person values as good art will find others that don't understand it or their idea of quality art is different in taste. Art is heterogeneous in form and therefore the value of work produced by artists will be contested, but the truth is that we are effected by art on a visceral, intangible level. Because of this reason, it is difficult to place a monetary value on art and on a humanistic level; while artists will continue to create art to emphasise the value and agency of human beings.
When economics gets involved in art the element of risk is raised. Cautious investors often look for low risk proposals that can guarantee a return. They go for a safe option, a proven work. This can kill innovation and stifle inspiration, which is unpredictable and cannot thrive in a bound environment, so thus eludes the creator. Work can become dull and uninspired and art gets devalued when it is boring and dull. Some of the greatest art evolved from blind faith, sacrifice and high risk, so why does society shun these practices and go for safe options when the payoffs can be of huge benefit to society? Why is failure regarded as negative, when without failure there would not be growth? We need to celebrate and learn from the things that didn't work, in order to be entrepreneurial and think outside the box.
Time is another factor that is often dismissed in the creative process. People do not suddenly become skilled artisans, or create great art, without working at it for years — just as doctors or lawyers require training to hone their skills. It takes years of dedication to craft, and thousands of hours to produce, what can sometimes be a 5 minute performance, yet often this is not equated for in the end product because performers make it look effortless and fun. Most of this preparatory work is unpaid, so it seems more of a vocation, but where a doctor or lawyer gets the benefit of being rewarded financially and given status in society for their skills, an artist lives on or below the poverty line for most of their lives and is denigrated by being told their line of work is frivolous or worthless.
So what can we do to change the plight of artists and better value their contribution to society? There are several ways to do this. When you see art that inspires you — buy it, support it, promote it. When you come into contact with artists who inspire you — tell them how their art made you feel, fund them in any way you can, so that they may continue their work. When you see work that has a negative impact on you, remember that the people that produced the art have put in much time and energy to create their art, so give them the time by questioning them in order to better understand their motives. That interaction and feedback can have great benefit to you, and those creators, in reaching understanding to promote growth.
Value can be found in all works of art. When you feel like life has no meaning, then go to a gallery, see a live performance, read a book but only watch television when you are fully engaged, otherwise turn it off. Lastly, the next time you see art and you say, "I could do better than that…" go out and do it, rather than dismissing artists because their art seems uninspired. Paint, sing, dance, play music, tell a story, write a book or do anything that inspires you and value your creative time, because the calling of all art is to inspire the artist within us all.