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The value of art.

I would love to share this story with ye guys.Firstly as the quality of the work on here is outstanding and if it makes sence then great.An aunt of mine worked as a nurse in a hospital in England, a doctor who was friends with her painted still life paintings of medical stuff like statascopes and needles.He claimed that being able to sign his painting Dr. added vast amounts to his paintings and he boasted if he retired he would make a living a painter.My aunt believed his work was only average to her well trained eye.The reason for sharing is that at times those who least need the income from art gain most from it.We all know of the celebrity musician or actor who sells a painting for a years salary to us.The other side is maybe we can exploit this to our advantage.Just a thought.


  • I think whatever you can use to your advantage is good, other than cheating or lying. There is enough rowing against the tide that having any wind in your sails should be used.
  • I have mixed feelings. Some times people act like cows and would follow each other over a cliff if that's where the bell cow lead them - after all she has a bell! I'm a scientist, I have a Ph.D. in geology, I probably look at rocks a bit differently than those who are not geologists. It does not mean I could paint rocks worth a darn and effectively incorporate the minor nuances of rocks that I love and appreciate. I would hope people buy this fellows paintings because the paintings are well done in the eye of the buyer and they love them...the fact he is a medial doctor would be an added bonus but not the main reason they bought them. Wait...I think I hear a bell ringing somewhere! :)
  • Great analogy are so right!!
  • edited January 2013
    Maybe we can get Mark to sign our paintings? That would up the value! :D
    On the subject of how to price a painting I am currently taking an advanced class where he says you should value gallery quality work (not something you did in one day but REALLY your good stuff) at $7 a square inch. First time I heard an actual $ per inch amount from an artist who is actively painting and selling
  • tjstjs -
    edited January 2013
    LizONeal said:

    Maybe we can get Mark to sign our paintings? That would up the value! :D

    I think that's a great idea Liz :)) Poor Mark!
  • Can you imagine if Mark did that? He'd become the next Terry Wylde.
  • edited January 2013
    I think it was Jasper Johns who said something to the effect that the making of art has almost nothing to do with the price or marketing of art. The impression I got was that although Johns didn't think that is the way things should be, he was calmly resigned to it. Sad but true, apparently.

    If there is an exception to that state of affairs, it probably applies to the realist painter--the more realistic the style, the greater the requirement to maintain high quality--the inertia of fame will only carry the realist a short way without continuous good work. In addition, it takes a longer amount of time for the realist to become established. He's got a steeper hill to climb and it never flattens out. This is probably a big factor in why modern art has long been popular with both artists and galleries.

    Sue mentioned "lying or cheating". What sort of thing would qualify as lying or cheating? The only thing I can think of would be to use a famous person's name or to pass a work off as an original by a famous person. It is a perfectly legitimate practice to use pseudonyms. Why couldn't you also use titles like "Dr.", "Dme.","Sir" or "Esq."? If someone is buying a painting because of some title attached to the name, or because of the high price on it rather than because they like it, that's their problem, not the artist's--right? I had a customer who was born in England that did furniture reproductions and restorations. He played up his English accent for all it was worth and stuck the title "Esq." on his name, and it allowed him to charge twice as much as he could have otherwise. I know others in the same kind of business from Greece, Poland, Germany, France, and Italy that reap similar benefits--they cash in on their accent and "Oldworldliness". Unfortunately for Hispanics, they get short-changed in that regard. I don't know if it's the same in other countries, maybe so, but I have to shake my head in bewilderment at my fellow countrymen at times.

  • edited January 2013
    Its funny - I wouldn't think that adding a title such as "Dr." to a painting would add to its value at all. I would think that there is at least as much risk that the message to the collector is that the painter is a hobbyist and not a "serious" i.e., full-time artist. Don't get me wrong - ideally a work should stand or fall on its own merits, but that isn't always how it works. But if/when I start selling paintings, I'm not sold on the idea of advertising the facts about my "other" profession or whether or not I have a degree or title. Using a pseudonym has much more appeal to me. On a related note, I also question the value of artists mentioning in their bios which art schools they attended and where they got their MFAs. To be honest, I don't really care.

  • Martin,

    I agree, it shouldn't matter--it should be all about the artwork. But there is a lot of shallowness and insecurity in some art collectors. In Burdick's article on the reasons people buy art, he describes a showing that involved the various works being judged for "Best of Show". The attending collectors had a chance to purchase any of the works throughout the show, but only after the winner was chosen did several attendees rush over to buy it. In another show, he described attendees crowding around and closely examining a particular work purely because it had an inflated price tag of 1 million dollars attached to it. The artist was a nobody, had no track record, and it was his first showing. But, like it or not, that's the way life often is.

    As far as pseudonyms go, I believe that is a tiny area where being creative can pay off somewhat--that's why actors and writers often change their name or take on a pen name.
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