Why Artists Are No Longer Criticized for Selling Out

“I haven’t heard about anyone selling out in a long while. Sometime between 2008 and 2018, capitalizing on your success as an artist to build a skate brand went from being reprehensible to being the thing that everyone is doing.”

This one gets a little deep, but it’s worth the journey.

Toby Shorin suggests we’ve seen a major cultural shift in the last decade or so and attempts to explain why selling out by artists is no longer considered a bad thing. In fact, it’s become aspirational and praised.

He attributes it to the complex relationship between authenticity and commodity — noting that, “People co-create their identities with brands just as they do with religions, communities, and other other systems of meaning.”