The Chasm between Art and Money

I was reading an interesting blog yesterday about how to make money selling art. As I was reading through the list of points I found myself nodding and thinking yeah that’s right but then it dawned on me: What is the defining relationship between money and art? The simple answer is: There isn’t one.

Art in the purest sense of the term in not a commodity. It’s value is purely down to taste and maybe the price of the materials used to create it. For some a certain painting is worth millions for others that same painting would be better in the fire rather than above the fireplace. So how does the whole system work? I would split it in to two. One side would be how to make money in the art world and the other would be how to create art.

For the first case, making money can be very straight forward. If you know the right people in the right place and, or have good financial backing. You follow the trends of what the majority of people like. Add a couple of quirks to it to make it slightly different then use mass market advertising until you’re selling more than the advertising cost. This plan can get you bankrupt or become the next fad. Obviously you’re aiming to be the next fad so you find some clever marketeers to make your pre chewed bull smell like Chanel No.5. A bit of brainwashing in the right place and your product, sorry art, has made made you a million or two.

Now for the second case. Creating a work of art requires risk. You’ll be needing passion, ideas and most important of all: Talent. The risk you will be taking is that you are going to have to put all of You in to something that may give absolutely nothing back. If you are not willing to accept that or have a different agenda then go for case one or become an art enthusiast rather than artist. A work of art reaches in to different realms of the psyche. Lose that focus and it all disappears. That is what gives art its true value. You can slap a price tag on to a box of cereal but art is a unique spark that can neither be truly defined or categorized. 


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