The Role of Artists in Gentrification: Linking the Art World to Resistance Movements


Much has been made about artists gentrifying working-class neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color seemingly just by moving in. Some activists have called this “a new form of colonization.” Writing for CityLab, Peter Moskowitz recently wrote about how this happens and what artists can do about it.

Moskowitz traces the trope of the artist-as-gentrifier to a 1984 essay, “The Fine Art of Gentrification.” It described it as “galleries as white-majority spaces that gave developers reasons to buy up land; the fear of original residents being priced out; a local press fawning over the new ‘revitalization’ of the neighborhood; and insensitive artists benefitting from it all.”

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