Insane Art World
Sept 8th 2018
The illogical- and wonderfully insane world of art
I wanted to share my personal views on today’s art market accompanied with a few topics that artists sometimes debate about. Distancing myself from following art market daily or even weekly but thriving on summarizing the big picture, these opinions represent solely on those of my own. There are lows and peaks in this field as well as in any other market, however work of art is an extremely personal product and per se not comparable to any other industry human has created.
About pricing art and art market prices
For artists the question is, how valuable you consider your talent-, time- and intellect to be? Not always an easy question to deal with. Luckily, the rest of the art world with its uncompromised logic and unquestionable pricing charts is there to help. Correct?
For collectors and professionals, the solution could be to simply ask an artist the above mentioned questions. Individual preferences naturally follow and the decision to invest is not a complicated process. Pricing depends on several factors actually and surprisingly or not, prices vary depending on the demand and supply just like in any other field. Except that many times the common logic shines with its absence and art sales on high level climax into a tournament from the middle ages. Then again, they usually prove to be excellent investments, so no harm caused.
Auctions may set a price preference but they rarely reflect the artists’ own thoughts about the value of their art (some would probably die second time hearing the prices paid). And why should they, as art market plays with rules in a dimension that it has created for itself and only to sustain itself. This alternate dimension is keeping some artists, the critics, the connoisseurs, the collectors and the auction houses on tip-toes and sometimes more than afloat. The western art bubble is there to sustain a live circus and to shoot new stars into the sky, welcomed by the steadily growing audience. Thus art pricing is probably one of the wildest examples of irrational and illogical phenomena created by human. It’s as imaginary as the Tinker Bell is to little girls, yet it guides them perfectly through the Never Never Land. ”If you believe enough, you can fly”.
The western art world is a very fascinating dimension of it’s own and certainly offers the excitement and occasional glory, that so many seek from the field. I’d compare it to the other imaginary place, the Galactic Senate where the senators of different worlds meet, each representing their own ideologies. There is plenty of communication on different levels and all seem to understand each other even if their languages are totally different from one another. There is definitely organized chaos in the hierarchies of the art world and everyone seems thrilled to be invited for the ride.
All this said, my tone is positive and my intention is never to preach, merely just to observe and learn. I’m after all, only an artist. Sometimes it’s like standing in the middle of the tornado’s heart and looking at objects circling around me. One day it leaves me intact, and the other, I fly along.
A prolific vs. a procrastinating artist
There are artists (when referring to artists, I talk about all creative fields as one entity) with a trail of thousands of works during their career. And there are artists who take their time before laying their hands on work. Is procrastinating a bad thing we often ask ourselves, how does it affect our career, progress, appreciation? Luckily as the history has proven, prolific or not, it makes less difference than we believe. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity in arts like in other areas in life. I do not need much, but what I have, it better be of the finest.. So, there is a uniqueness factor to be considered and also valued. Several known painters started later in life and still managed to leave a mark in the art history with their new technique and -thinking. Or they were simply procrastinating. Examples of aforementioned types: Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne.. Artists work with different pace and since planning and thinking are also involved, we need to first cater to our own imagination which sometimes takes time. I’d say that the final product of an artist is like the snowy peak only, visible to masses and to far distances.
Which type of collector to love?
A collector, who is genuinely interested in art and finds it rewarding to peel deeper into the core layers of this still somewhat unconventional profession, gets the best seat. They are appreciated because of their genuine, empathic character. An ideal collector thrives on interacting with artists themselves or people who have extensively studied late artists. They seem to get value and new perspectives from artsy discussions, as these often end up revolving around the complex topics of inspiration and existence. For what comes to investing in art, most of us living artists would probably state that art is a great investment, but no monetary gain will ever surpass the actual personal enjoyment, which you can also share with people around you. For sure valuable art can sit and wait in a climate controlled box, in a safe harbor, but that will not serve anyone in the long haul, nor has it the chance to inspire or educate in any way.
I can personally guarantee that art was never created to sit in darkness where its voice is silenced and where it’s not able to cultivate anyone or elevate an interior. Art was created by the artists, not only for themselves, but for the people. Art is always a period piece and a flash from the past or the present. And safe to say most artists love collectors who understand these soft values and the potential powers art is able to hold. All we need to do is look at the art world and we can agree that it was cleverly created around the never ending passion for self-expression. It's definitely not an illusion nor an imaginary world but agreeably another dimension, for those who want to look for it. Some just never find it.
Inspiration, does it come from outside or inside?
While a predictable, smooth sailing and calm waters -lifestyle is the aim of many, for me that kind of static life would be a definite inspiration killer. I’m a nomad who needs to move. If not physically, then mentally there has to be a path of challenges ahead. I’ve always been excited above average about sights, smells, sounds, materials, people and their behavior and places. But these are only 50% of the potential springs of inspiration. These external influences and factors are the ones that get me excited but what comes from inside is what gets me to it. First comes the connection, after that it’s about analyzing and lastly self-expression. I’m totally fascinated by life on this planet and even more about the physics- and the meaning of our existence. I’ve come to multiple conclusions about all above mentioned, however one is certain: we are here to live and to die. What happens in between is precious and we should spend it wisely. We are living in a paradox which we have created full of rules and regulations but it shouldn’t prevent us all from seeking the artist inside and finding our true mission. I feel it’s my duty to dig deeper as to why we got to this. Why is this world worst for the most innocent and why our progress is so slow? I have to paint to make sense of it. I'm a painter in order to fulfill the curiosity in understanding existence. I’m beginning to think that my passion to create is just a coping mechanism for almost an over thinker.