Does the $$$ you spend on Art equate to the quality of the Art you Buy?

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  • August 31, 2016


By the time I’m done with my graduate studies in Fine Art, painting, at the ACADEMY of ART University in San Francisco, my education cost will exceed $82,000. At the study rate of 3 units a quarter, I won’t graduate until I’m 62. Will I ever recoup this cost through the sales of my artwork?

Audience numbers at stage performances lessening, visual artists not selling their works, musicians not getting gigs, these are the gloomy reports. There is a flip side.

I just purchased what I consider to be a work of art, my tickets to see Wicked at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Each ticket cost me $100. It’s expensive to see live theater. Consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in the pre-production through final production costs. The Choreographer and Stage Manger work hand in hand to insure that we see a production that is graceful and flowing. Costuming has to be perfect. The Props and Backdrops must be visually enchanting and easy to move. The Orchestra…The Actors…so forth and so on. These performance artists collaborate for a final project. My small expenditure keeps this art form alive. I think that many of us don’t see this connection…keeping the arts alive takes money.

Purchasing any item de Arte that is in excess of one’s budget is never an impulse buy; regardless of the price spent. Expense budgets are personal. Purchasing a piece of art must satisfy the “When, How, and Why”. It’s a simple research of identifying the consumer your merchandise attracts and qualifying the buyer.

THE COLLECTOR: The serious Art Collector will produce theater productions, sponsor individual musicians, and acquire works of art by master Artists. There is social status involved in the decision to Buy/Underwrite. The money spent is considered an investment in the future, like stock. Artists Jackson Pollack, Picasso, Andy Warhol, have demonstrated that their works of art are collectable and command hundreds of thousands of dollars today and more tomorrow. These named Artists are no longer alive and their works are limited. There are many living artists whose’ works command thousands of dollars and who are touted by reputable auction houses, such as Sotheby’s, to be “collectable”. Except for numbered lithographs by Andy Warhol (certainly because that was his media presentation), color reproductions are not in this category. Even while on vacation, Collectors wander through Fine Art Galleries, research the artist, and will spend for an original artwork.

THE TOURIST travels with a specific amount of money put aside to spend during “vacation”. I interviewed several Tourists walking our streets last weekend and regardless of whence they came, the “fun money” averaged at about $300. Every merchant competes for these dollars. The tourist purchases “memories” of the trip, cards or small paintings that depict our scenes and fit the budget. Larger dollar purchases would be considered an impulse buy. These are rare.

THE ART CONNOISSEUR is you and I. We purchase simply because we like it. Whether is be to match a couch, to spend an evening at the symphony, what we purchase and participate in must feel good. There are many of us, all with different likes and dislikes, and with a price point. Attracting this consumer a marketing numbers game. Regardless of how much we “love it” or “want it”, if it’s over the household budget it’s a “no sale”. Limited edition Lithographs and Color Reproductions have made accessibility to acquiring a Painting more accessible to this consumer. There’s always Lay Away plans to purchase an original work of art.

You have $300 to spend. Which Consumer category are you?

CHIHUAHUA PUPS Shots, dewormed, registered, champ lines T-cups $300-$700.
GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPS AKC Parents onsite. 1st shots. Personal attention given. $600-$800
LAB PUPS AKC, yellow, black&chocolate. First shots, healthy, happy&ready NOW $300-$600
RABBITS – Good Home $1

Even though you can get more for your money, do you really want 300 Rabbits? Sure, quantity verses quality is an influence on your final decision, but also the adage You get what you pay for” may apply. Some of you may just want 300 Rabbits.

Bottom line, there is more than one motivation when buying a piece of Art. You have choices. There are galleries and individual artist’s studios in your area that offer an array of wonderful candy for the eyes and sole. Frequent them!

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