Back To Blog Menu

Money and Art

Bruce Wang Citizen Wang Studio
photo by Kathryn Johnston

Article By Bruce Wang @

Money and Art


From the 1960’s to the 1980’s, Unemployment Benefit and a relaxed Benefit Fraud Dept was considered the Living Wage for Musicians , out of work Actors and Artists. Britain led the world in Fringe Theatre Pop Music and Fine Art.

I studied Fine Art for a short while in 1982 and had long conversations with my Tutor, Gillian Ingham, an Abstract Expressionist Artist of the Wapping Group. Quite apart from having a deep feeling for and experience of Fine Art, she would tell me of her experiences as a house builder and renovator. The time she was at the top of the scaffolding and felt the scaffolding pitch and yaw from the weight of all the roof tiles that her team had failed to lower to the ground. Her Building and Fine Art careers ran concurrently. Gillian Ingham continues to exhibit and teach in 2022.

Is it the survival of the most Enterprising Fine Artist? 


I was asked this question by a good friend, “Do you agree that top value fine art is created by people who started poor?“

The Eternal Question, “What is Art”  is now engorged by “What is Top Value Fine Art”.

The late Art Critic Peter Fuller felt that Fine Art should bring the viewer closer to God.

The late Art Critic, Brian Sewell felt that Godhead could be found by singlehandedly satisfying a barracks full of horny Guardsmen.

The late Sir Francis Bacon found that being occasionally thrown through a plate glass door by his Soldier lover, thereby mutilating his face, was the basis for many of his greatest “Top Value” paintings.

Tintoretto, painted pro bono for many aristocratic families in order to gain a paid commission (or not). During a competition to win the commission for a prestigious Guild building. He did not submit sketches, but installed his own painted canvas on the oval ceiling of the building, having gained the measurements secretly (and no doubt expensively) from the janitor. He also paid for the inevitable scaffolding and skilled members of his studio. The Guild Elders decided to keep his “erection” and cancelled the competition.