Have you ever wandered past a gallery and something in the window catches your eye? You walk back and admire the stunning artwork, gazing at it longingly. You picture it in your home, imagining the joy it will give, and then finally, you move your eyes to the price tag… you recoil in horror, questioning how they can justify such a ludicrous amount.
Well you aren’t alone. We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt that feeling of frustration and disappointment… and that’s why CreativeFolk was created… because we believe art should be affordable to everyone.
So why is some art expensive?
To be honest, we don’t think it has to be.
In the elitist art world, it’s all about power. It’s about proving to your peers you’re successful. That you can afford it. Many of the artworks sold never see the light of day. They are simply trading cards for the rich and shameless, and it’s this unhealthy competition that drives the prices up.
Like most things bought and sold, cars, houses, oil etc, the elitist art world is driven by the simplest form of economics… the art is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Surely this then determines its value?
Maybe, but the art world is fickle. Like the fashion industry, the popularity of artists and their work can fluctuate. So, who drives these markets making one painting or artist more popular than another?
That essentially boils down to the dealers and gallery owners. These, sometimes, unscrupulous individuals have a crafty knack of manipulating the art market, helping to drive prices up, or down, depending on their goal.
We spoke to one wealthy individual who recited a fascinating story on just how this can be done.
“When I used to own my gallery in Switzerland and wanted to create desire for a new artist we had signed, we would put a piece of their work up for auction. A group of us would bid against each other on it, up to a certain level. The selling price would then be recorded. A few months later we would auction it again and repeat the process. Again, the new, slightly higher price would be recorded. We would repeat this a few times.
Now other art buyers outside of our group would start noticing each time the price has risen, giving them the impression the piece is sought after. Eventually these other buyers would begin bidding and we’d sit back and let them take over. Our work is done, the artist and their work are now regarded as highly collectable”.
We’re pretty sure there are many ways that prices can be manipulated but this simple (if you have the money), and effective tactic just shows how easily it can be done.
As a race, we are pretty much sheep. We don’t want to take risks, to go out on a limb for fear of being wrong. We would rather follow the herd and be told what we should spend our money on.
So, what does this elitist world have to do with normal people like us? Well, although the story above is an extreme version, it still applies to some art you’ll see. The art gallery on your high street wants you to believe that the large price tag is justified. If it’s expensive then it must be good, right?
Wrong. There are, of course, certain factors that need to be considered when pricing a piece of art… how long did it take, cost of materials, maybe the size of the piece, galleries commission (which can be as high as 70%) and the economic factor of supply and demand… are they popular/sought after. But, it still feels like many artworks are still highly overpriced.
Art should be affordable for all
CreativeFolk was born out of this frustration. We believe art should be affordable, after all, we all want to be able to have unique and exciting art displayed in our homes to enjoy.
As well as the wonderful selection of original art, we also offer affordable signed art prints to the same high standards as the top galleries. The only difference is we supply them at prices everyone can afford. We don’t want to make art affordable for only the few.
After all, art’s about falling in love with something, it’s about the feelings it conjures up inside you.
Like the clothes you wear, the music you listen to and the programmes you watch, the art you buy says something about you. It is an expression of who you are and what you like. It can speak to you, it can make you think, smile, laugh and even cry.
Simply put, art is powerful.