Alexandros Baltzis, Nikolaos Tsigilis

Cultural and Creative Industries: New Trends and Developments in Research and Policies
3rd conference on cultural and creative industries
School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Athens (Greece), March 3-4, 2017



The paper presents some results of a quantitative survey on about 10% of the visual artists in Greece. The research was carried out in collaboration with the State Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. It is the first of its kind carried out in the country and it is based on a previous exploratory study with focus groups about the working conditions of visual artists and film makers.

The part of the results presented in this paper focuses on the attitude of visual artists towards several dimensions of flexibility, specific to cultural labor. Several surveys and analyses by researchers, institutes and international organizations like ILO in other countries, show that artists tend to be more flexible on issues related at least with the material conditions of cultural work. Based on these findings, it was hypothesized that the attitude of the visual artists will differ depending on gender, income, moonlighting, and the years they work as artists.

At the same time, it was examined to what extent the visual artists in Greece as an occupational group, have the features described in literature for other countries.

The findings show – among others – that this is a highly educated and skilled occupational group which nevertheless is poorly remunerated compared with other highly skilled groups (64.5% is too close to the poverty threshold). They also show that contrary to the expectations for a star economy, typical for labor in most cultural fields, the Gini coefficient among visual artists is rather moderate (G=37.13), but still higher than the national one (G=31.2 for 2015).

Concerning the research hypotheses, the differentiation found was rather small (effect size d<0.5) and the correlations weak (<0.3). Therefore, the hypotheses about the differences are only partially confirmed and to a low degree. Consequently, the attitude of the visual artists towards flexibility of cultural labor is relatively homogeneous: they clearly prioritize psychic income rather than monetary, however the issue of their social security is the boundary of their flexibility and it was found to be one of their main concerns.

As the research presented includes more than 250 variables, it is expected that further analysis of the data, will shed more light on the details of these issues.