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Old 07-13-2019, 03:18 PM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

I tend to think that a good measure of the value of art comes from the way the art influences the direction of art itself, and in our society that influence largely rests on innovation, not on repetition. What’s innovative about Sprick’s work? How many contemporary artists are picking up cues from him?

Right on, Chris!! I completely agree.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:47 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleAmde
Artyczar, your views are remarkable. You think value is "arbitrary" and that "it doesn't mean anything" in the case of HW's question?

No and yes. I did not say that "value is arbitrary." I don't think "value (in and of itself as a thing) doesn't mean anything." You truly took my meaning out of context. I mean that prices can be arbitrary in the art world, just as the price of diamonds are. Artists ask all the time, "At what amount should I price my work?" What is the answer to that question? Most people look around and compare who else has made their way/earned a name and should probably price it fairly based on the going market, but sometimes, it can be pretty arbitrary and doesn't have rhyme or reason. I didn't make that up. It's true.

Who decided that the de Kooning was worth that much? It should probably be priced much more than yours or mine, but at which high price should it be? How did it get there? It got bid up and up and up by the market, but why? Maybe people are silly? Or maybe that's just how much someone is willing to pay. This is the arbitrary point about what value is. It is only worth what someone is willing to pay. It doesn't really mean it has x-million more dollars "worth" than the other painting. That's like saying a doctor's life has more worth than your life. His time is valued at more money, but it's not worth more. Do you get what I mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleAmde
Do you also think all arts, including writing and music, are silly games?

I am not saying that *I* think any of this is silly. I take/have taken my career quite seriously! I am really speaking to artists that are reluctant to play the game of business and who think things "shouldn't" be this way because it's art. But I'm saying it's business like anything. If you want to sell your art, that's just the facts. You have to market yourself. If one thinks that's silly, then they should just paint for a hobby.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleAmde
And based on what you've explained here, you don't need $300,000,000 ...


Actually, I DO NOT! I need to pay my way through my life to survive. I do NOT need 300,000,000 dollars, no.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleAmde
So, summing this up, you think that the "value" of Interchange really isn't in its apparent "worth"? Or, did you have a different meaning?

I really hope I cleared some of this up?

Last edited by Artyczar : 07-13-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:06 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy wolf
I tend to think that a good measure of the value of art comes from the way the art influences the direction of art itself, and in our society that influence largely rests on innovation, not on repetition. What’s innovative about Sprick’s work? How many contemporary artists are picking up cues from him?

Right on, Chris!! I completely agree.

I can see this being an influence on the market as well. I see this happening in my little world all the time when someone is considered "hot" and is trailblazing new ideas that other seem to be taking cues from. Sometimes it's more than cues though. They will borrow, steal, copy, etc., or just be highly influenced by. Then the artist (either the original one or the one getting the most credit for those ideas) will soar up in value.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:02 PM
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caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

I think it happens in just about any field, Artyczar; I’ve even seen it in science. You know that feeling when you really want to express something but can’t find the words, and then some one says it (clearly or not)? And what they say all seems to make sense? I think society, or parts of it, are often like that person who can’t find the words. Of course once an idea is expressed, it may in the long run just wind up being silly. So you get lots of fads, with a few profound ideas in the mix.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:43 PM
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Look on the bright side. He couldn't pay the full amount at the time and had to arrange 6 monthly installments of $44 million. Poor bloke
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:03 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

The monetary value of art can certainly carry widely for the same piece. Look at Vincent Van Gogh. During his lifetime he could barely give his paintings away, today they are among the most expensive paintings in the world, on the few occasions one comes up for sale.

Vincent assuredly has an important place in art history, and I am sure part of the value of his paintings reflects that. there is also the image of Vincent, the tortured artist, the mad genius. Not to mention the exclusivity of being one of the few fortunate enough to be able to own one of his works. The value goes beyond the aesthetics.

There certainly are paintings which are valued because of their aesthetic beauty. Look at Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" for an example. In sculpture, Michaelangelo's Pieta would be of great value to me even if sculpted by a complete unknown.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyczar
Who decided that the de Kooning was worth that much?

When it's about money, it's about money.





Then again, it may be an attempt to add value to art……
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:16 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Oh Carol (a Neil Sedaka number....), to your question “who decided”, supply and demand my dear. Who decides that a house should cost a million bucks when its intrinsic value (the total cost of materials + labor) is say $200,000?
The canvas + paints probably cost de Kooning no more than $40-50 at the time.
Or maybe he got it all for free from his dealer?
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:01 AM
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by caldwell.brobeck
What’s “real quality” in your terms, Hairy? It’s such a hard thing to define, rather like “beauty”. And everyone interprets it differently. Personally I find the de Kooning more interesting than the Sprick shown above, so had I the $$$, I’d probably be willing to pay more for it. Not that I like either, fwiw.

I tend to think that a good measure of the value of art comes from the way the art influences the direction of art itself, and in our society that influence largely rests on innovation, not on repetition. What’s innovative about Sprick’s work? How many contemporary artists are picking up cues from him?

A couple of other aspects re. monetary value (i.e. worth) - the buyer of the de Kooning has a net worth of around $10B, so the painting represents about 3% of that. The median net worth for a head of household of about his age in the US is bout 125K. 3% of that is around $3.75K, about the prove of a nice living room suite of furniture, or a moderate vacation, or a decent painting from an average gallery. So while $300M itself might seem a lot to me, in his terms it isn’t huge.

Finally, have you ever read Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class? It was written about a century ago, but most of it is still relevant. One thing he points out is that the wealthy will spend their money in ways that that demonstrate wealth and power through indifference to necessity. Being able to visibly spend the most money for the least utility is an important aspect of social status.

Cheers,
Chris

Yep, that pretty much nails it. In addition, there are purely economic factors at work: the painting is worth something for the same reason a bank note or gold or a diamond is worth something - there is broad consensus that it is worth something, and there is a limited supply (which is why authenticity is such an issue in the art market, and why King Midas was pretty naive).

Even from a purely economical point of view, buying an original De Kooning is a somewhat risky but perfectly rational investment. Whether my four year-old niece could have done it is immaterial: my four year-old niece isn't famous and there isn't broad consensus that her work is worth anything. Also, the way she scribbles, there is an unlimited supply. :-)

It is instructive though to make a comparison with the occasional cases where kids do suddenly get famous, for whatever reason. It is not that unusual for some or other kid to suddenly achieve artistic fame, and then their art also suddenly becomes worth a fortune out of all proportion to its actual merits.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:47 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Brian, an example of a “kid” who’s become huge in his lifetime and much bigger still after he died is Mr. Basquiat. Well, I know that this not exactly what you meant, but that guy was and still is a “kid wonder”. A couple of lady dealers “discovered” that ex graffiti artist and figured very shrewdly that his stuff will go down big. Real big. They both advised him to “keep on doing what you do best, don’t change a thing”. And they were right.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:07 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Johnemmett, I tend to disagree with you on the inferiority of poetry. Check out Bob Dylan, to name but one example.
As for a good abstract piece, like poetry, it appeals to the emotional sensitivity (soul?) of a human being. This is why I stated at the beginning of this thread that certain people may say “my daughter of five years old can do better”. Imho people who say things like this in front of a magnificent de Kooning lack the required sensitivity. De Kooning was great! But several other members of the group known as the New York School were not too shabby either.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:24 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??





I bought recently these two abstract works by a young Spanish artist. They are done with pieces of old fabric with different color threads. They are mounted on white board and framed in “box frames”.
I just love the simplicity. They speak to me.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:47 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy wolf
Oh Carol (a Neil Sedaka number....), to your question “who decided”, supply and demand my dear. Who decides that a house should cost a million bucks when its intrinsic value (the total cost of materials + labor) is say $200,000?
The canvas + paints probably cost de Kooning no more than $40-50 at the time.
Or maybe he got it all for free from his dealer?

Hairy, my dear, it was a pretty rhetorical question (if you would read the rest of my posts). I realize that people will pay what they want for something that they feel is that important to them and de Kooning has become that important to many in the world of art, and probably for good reason. I have no problem with it. I think he's good. Not one of my favorites, but I still believe he had his place with many of the other great abstract artists. But I wonder what Debuffet's prices demand, as I think of him as being far more important in this category.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:06 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Oh Carol (again....), I missed the rhetorical part.... forgive me.
As for Dubuffet, I would not place him in the same category as de Kooning. I don’t mean in terms of greatness and/or dollar value. De Kooning was certainly an abstract expressionist. Dubuffet concerned himself with “art brut”, what is now known as “outsider art”. Dubuffet was the pioneer who went to mental health institutions to unveil the wondrous creations of the mentally ill who created art strictly from within their own brains or souls, without any connection with or knowledge of the world outside. Mr. Dubuffet in turn produced wonderful works imitating “the brutal art” of those mentally ill people. I don’t think that we’re talking here about abstract expressionism. We’re talking about expressionism of a different kind.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:19 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Is money the only measure of the value of a work of art??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy wolf
I missed the rhetorical part.... forgive me.
As for Dubuffet, I would not place him in the same category as de Kooning. I don’t mean in terms of greatness and/or dollar value. De Kooning was certainly an abstract expressionist. Dubuffet concerned himself with “art brut”, what is now known as “outsider art”. Dubuffet was the pioneer who went to mental health institutions to unveil the wondrous creations of the mentally ill who created art strictly from within their own brains or souls, without any connection with or knowledge of the world outside. Mr. Dubuffet in turn produced wonderful works imitating “the brutal art” of those mentally ill people. I don’t think that we’re talking here about abstract expressionism. We’re talking about expressionism of a different kind.

Perhaps you're right.

I have known about Debuffet's history for a long time. I am glad you mention it here for others that do not though.

I was just wondering what his prices were. As an expressionist, it seems he informed a lot of the abstract expressionists though. I am not an expert by any means though, so I don't know if he was the chicken before the egg, or what.

Last edited by Artyczar : 07-14-2019 at 09:26 AM.
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