Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Value of Original Art

My friend Andy posed this question earlier today:
Should artists sell their original art? Should it be more precious, or it’s just ink and paper, dude?
Andy’s question seems to imply that the act of selling original works devalues its status as art, its “precious”-ness.

I’m sure the reasons artists decide to sell or not to sell their original art is as varied as the artists themselves. Some may feel it’s a personal connection between themselves and the creation, where others may feel it’s simply a job they got paid for. The artist has every right to decide whether or not they sell their original art. Am I disappointed when I discover a favorite artist of mine doesn’t sell his original art? Sure, but I certainly can’t be upset about it. That’s the artist’s prerogative.

On the other end of that transaction, as someone who purchases original art (and has purchased original art from Andy), I would argue that selling it doesn’t inherently negate its value as art. I wouldn’t purchase a piece of original art if it didn’t h
ave value to me – value that warrants me seeking out the art, paying for it, and displaying it.

I may be reading too much into Andy’s question, but I think what he’s truly struggling with is a something only he can answer. And, like much of life, it’s not simply black or white, elevated art or crass commerce. I think Andy's real question to himself is “Can I sell my original art and still feel like both the piece and I still have value beyond the dollar amount attached to it, dude?”

1 comment:

Andy Jewett said...

My struggle originally was the idea of handing over something that I had conceived and spent time creating to a "stranger."

Similar to those people who breed dogs but insist on meeting the people that want to buy their puppies... I only wanted to let my art go if I was confident it would be going to a good home, taken care of.

I'm getting over that pretty quickly though, certainly the idea that someone would be interested in what I do enough to pay money is flattering and honestly... what am I going to do with the originals? Realistically, I can always find uses for the money as well.

I've never had a problem doing commissions but for some reason my original page art was different. Until now... if someone wants to buy them, awesome. It's humbling and I could use a new computer. heh.

Thanks for weighing in and thanks for being one of the "good homes."