Art Marketing Online Art Blog
I like keeping up with art trends & how art sells around the globe. Whether you're an emerging artist looking for clients or just paint for yourself, I've always wondered if there truly is a struggle for artists between making the sale & paying the bills vs. connecting with the buyer to find a 'home' for the work. Clearly, this brief article in Feb. 2008 issue of Elle touches on this question and talks about an innovative way that one artist makes sales assuring a return on his investment!
WHY SOME ARTISTS WON'T SELL OUT, LITERALLY, TO DEEP-POCKETED COLLECTORS
Maybe it's the Gen-X Sense of entitlement, but young artists are becoming increasingly selective about who's allowed to purchase their creations, working with their galleries to ensure their pieces stay in the hands of those they deem appropriate. Take Damien Hirst, who was catapulted into the collective consciousness when London-based advertising legend Charles Saatchi commissioned 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living'--a shark floating in a tank of formaldehyde. In 2002, the two battled over how Hirst's work should be displayed in Saatchi's new London gallery, and the dustup culminated in Hirst buying back 12 of his pieces from his benefactor.
While Saatchi may be thought of as the art-world bogeyman (artist Matthew Day Jackson is another rumored to refuse to sell to him directly), he's not the only one. In 2002, the artist Barnaby Furnas reportedly sold a canvas of a Civil War battlefield, 'Heartbreak Ridge', to Michael Ovitz for $12,000, only to see the former Walt Disney Company president flip it at Sotheby's four years later for $520,000. (Furnas responded with a print edition entitled 'Effigy [Don't you love me anymore?]'---a man with dollar signs for eyes, a pig nose, and giant Mickey Mouse-like ears.)
!IMAGE192! In some instances, New York City--based artist Ryan McGinness sells a partial stake of major works, having the purchaser sign a contract giving McGinness and the buyer equal ownership. Both have to agree to sell it and split the proceeds. "I'm very proud of my work and concerned with where it gets placed," McGinness explains. "I'm not interested in selling to people who will auction it a year later."
With artists paying close attention to who's writing the checks, don't assume that something is beyond your budget. Jacob Lewis, the director of Manhattan's Pace Prints Chelsea, would rather see pieces in the hands of a bona fide enthusiast. "I'm more tempted to negotiate with a person who expresses an emotional attachment to the work," Lewis says. "If that's considered picky, so be it!"