Thursday, May 26, 2005

For all you emerging artists......set your prices!

I was reading one of my favorite art info sites....and came across this Q&A. I think this is great for all you emerging artists to read.

Ask Mark Kostabi
by Mark Kostabi

Dear Mark,
Despite all the wild money flying around the art world right now, with collectors and dealers aggressively raiding the art schools looking for the next big thing and with so many new artists casually joining the million-dollar-per-painting club at auction, there are still lots and lots of artists who are not invited to the party. What are they doing wrong and what are the winners doing right?
Art World Observer

Dear AWO,
One very common mistake that emerging artists make is overpricing their work. While it is true that some emerging artists can successfully command five-figure prices at their debut shows, especially if they're in hot trendy galleries with lots of buzz, this tends to be exception, not the rule. Sometimes to make millions you might have to sell works for as low as $100 each at the beginning -- just to get a real business going.

Some emerging artists see John Currin paintings go for a million and figure, "Hey, I'm just as good -- I should get at least $20,000 for mine," and then they get depressed when nothing sells at their debut show, except the one small painting in the back room that Uncle John mercifully bought for $2,500.

Basquiat and Warhol both sold their work at extremely low prices at the early stages of their careers. One of the artists in "Greater New York," who was featured in New York Magazine as one of the ten artists most likely to succeed, sold a painting a few years ago to a friend of a friend of mine for $100.

I, Mark Kostabi, am a famous artist. I make millions. But I frequently see debut shows of unknown artists with prices that are double of mine. With a lot of effort they might even sell some work. But what they're really doing is barely getting by and helping me sell 1,000 paintings a year effortlessly, because they make my paintings look like such a bargain. Thank you to all the egotistical art students!


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