Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 66

Part Two of a three-part post continued from Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 65

POINT ONE: Art has essentially remained the same for the last 10,000 years.  It’s the artist that changes or is changed by the market.  The real problem is a general and erroneous perception that lumps all art and artists together and, worse yet separates them by those spelled with a capital A and those who are not.

New, young, unknown and, not yet emerging artists cannot compete with those who are recognized and sought after. In the meantime, these artists need food, shelter and clothing as everyone else does.  They need to be paid for their art.

To some, being an artist seems like a lot of fun.  But work is work regardless how your professional title is spelled.  Payment is its own reward.  No one is doing artists any favors by convincing them to give away or donate their work to charitable causes. Giving them exposure is not the same as giving them money.

Asking an artist to give away (it’s not the same as donate) their work indicates that the artist and their work represent something of value.  Why else would the individual representing the organization that is planning on selling or raffling off donated art be doing it?

How does this really benefit the artist? If it was to benefit local artists or, a particular individual artist in need, then it might be okay but we haven’t seen that happen yet.

The South Coast was recognized as the seventh most creative area in the United States in an Atlantic Monthly article. Does that mean artists can afford to give away their work?  Ernst Fischer, the socialist author of The Necessity of Art, wrote, “If you can’t pay for a thing, don’t buy it. If you can’t get paid for it, don’t sell it. Do this, and you will have calm and drowsy nights, with all of the good business you have now and none of the bad.”

POINT TWO: There is huge art lake that exists in the South Coast. This is no phenomena, it is a reality and it also exists everywhere else in this country.  An art lake is a term I’ve coined to describe a situation similar to the European Union’s wine lake. The wine lake is a continually growing supply of surplus of wine.

There are several reasons for this surplus of wine predicament.  One is related to controlling supply in order to stabilize prices and control the market demand. Another contributing factor are exceptional harvest years.

What about the South Coast Art Lake?  It also comes down to price and market control.  There are just so many local galleries serving a finite demand for art locally.  It’s not easy for an artist to seek and find representation beyond the South Coast. It takes time, money and relentless commitment.

Our vibrant art community would certainly benefit from an increase in demand. To handle the uptick, the number of galleries would need to increase.  The more galleries, the more artists represented.  With more artists represented, more art is created and theoretically sold.

But to increase demand both the pricing structure and consumer pricing perception needs to be redefined. Pricing as the market will bear (consumer feedback) is usually reflected by the overall or seasonal supply and demand situation. However, there is currently enough unsold art stored or stashed under beds, in closets; attics, basements or garages to handle the market transition. A majority of the art product would be supplied by the unknown artists are at the low-end of the art commodity market.

Please continue to Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 67 when published…

 

Posted on: 16/08/2015, by : Ron Fortier
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