Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pricing

An art exhibition is not a sale room, but an artistic experience in its own right. I'm finalising the prices for my June exhibition today. In my experience all artists struggle with pricing their work, even me, although I seem to have less trouble than others. Primarily I calculate how much the picture cost me and charge at least that plus the commission. The rest comes from how much I rate the work. I paint to be a good artist not a business man, so I aim to price as an artwork not as something on a market stall, that means that at a small village fair I'd charge the same price as in a city gallery because the artwork itself hasn't changed.

Perhaps in practise that is wishful thinking. Art prices can vary in price to a seemingly irrational degree. I have the confidence to assume I'll be a great artist one day, and so could perhaps keep all of my paintings until they are inevitably worth more... but then, I only have limited space for storing paintings, and each sale promotes my art to the people who bought it and their friends... then again, I have a duty to my existing owners to ensure that their prices climb... then again my future artworks will put my past ones to shame so why cling to those...

Thus I'm inevitably pricing based partly on what has sold before and what hasn't, what paintings I and others like, and which I don't, and as I don't really need to sell because I don't rely on painting for money, and because of my confidence that I'll command high prices one day, I will, if doubts arise, choose a higher price over a lower one.

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