Friday, April 18, 2014

Price Differences...

So I'm going to try and explain a little about the price of art and why it can vary so widely. Keep in mind I'm no economist or business person & I went to art school, so this explanation will be pretty brief. But hopefully, give you a better perspective on the subject.

First, let's look at an imaginary situation. Say "Suzy" (not her real name) buys an 8"x 10" landscape for $400. Now her sister tells her she got a better "deal" because she bought an 8"x10" landscape from a different artist for $98. 

Is this starting to sound like a horrible memory from first grade math class or what? 

Anyway, did the sister get a "deal" because she spent less?

Not necessarily. 

See, maybe Suzy's artist is represented at galleries? That artist has a name that is known in the gallery world and also has to keep her prices the same in the gallery ( that takes a cut of the sale price) as it is in the studio. An artist should not sell work cheaper out of the studio than they do in the galleries. If they did, then the galleries will not take them if they under cut the gallery. 

Maybe Suzy's artist does her work on archival paper or canvas. This is meant to last generations. Maybe her sister's artist does  her work on notebook paper or just something she picked up at the craft store and the paint will crack in twelve months or fade. Who knows. But we do know that archival quality artist supplies are expensive and built to last.

Maybe Suzy's artist has been painting for a long time and has earned her prices. She has worked her way up in her career, so to speak. That would demand higher prices.

Maybe the more expensive artist paints in a style that takes a very long time to complete. Maybe the less expensive artist can finish a painting in an hour or two.

Maybe, the sister's artist is a beginner and is selling work cheap to " break in " to the art world. Then I would say yes, this is a good deal. As long as the materials used were of excellent quality and meant to last. It doesn't, however, mean it is a better deal than the more expensive artwork. 

What makes art so different than other purchases is that it is a very emotional purchase. 

Yes, art is an investment. Over all, the artwork you choose to buy will make you happy every time you look at it. It can lift you up. You can connect to it. You should be able to connect with it in some way. Maybe you love how it fits in your decor. Maybe it is a portrait of someone or something you love. Maybe, you just feel good when you see it. The list goes on forever.

So this is a very brief explanation. Maybe you gleaned something from it. Maybe not. But I feel it needed to be said. 

When you choose a piece of artwork or an artist to create art for you, don't let price be your only guide. It will be a guide for sure, as we all have different budgets. But it shouldn't be your only one. Leave that kind of decision making at the grocery store when your picking out, I don't know, say frozen peas or something...

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