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What is the matter with the art world?

The Salmagundi Club, one of the most prestigious art organizations in New York City just had the Closing Awards Reception for its Non-Member Exhibit and only one piece sold.  How is that possible?  What is the matter with the art world?

There were 140 paintings and sculptures, juried out of over 500 submissions.  So the quality was high. There were oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, marble, bronze, alabaster … so lots to choose from. Prices ranged from $300 to $20,000 … and everything in between.  True, there were only 3 abstracts (one of them mine), but the representational work included portraits, landscapes, still lifes, animals, and even a dragon (sculpture).

In other words, there was something for everyone.  But, only one piece sold!  It’s not just that my abstract didn’t sell.  The only thing that did sell was one small portrait. Nothing against that portrait, but how is that possible?!?

The reception was packed, tons of people.  And I happen to know that a fair number of people saw the exhibit during the two weeks preceding the Awards Reception. So it’s not that nobody knew about it or that nobody saw the art.

What is the matter with the art world?  NYC is full of people with lots of disposable income.  I read in the paper that megabucks are being spent on art from established artists at Southeby’s auctions, etc.  People bought Picassos and Rothkos when they were still unknown, why isn’t that happening today?

Why don’t people with money want to buy art that speaks to them from artists that are as yet unknown?  Put it on your wall or on a stand and enjoy it.  Look at it every day.  Pat yourself on the back for having bought it and smile.  You’re enjoying it now and, hey, maybe someday it will be worth megabucks.  In the meantime, you’re enjoying it.

What is the matter with the art world?

But maybe I’m asking the wrong question… or at least the right question of the wrong people.  Maybe it’s not the moneyed class I should be challenging, maybe I should be asking other artists and run-of-the mill others (middle class people).  I know times are tough for many people, but there ARE others with some disposable income.  Why aren’t middle income people buying original art, original affordable art?  Art is not something that should be restricted to the super-rich.

And everyone knows what he or she likes. So why aren’t they going to exhibits and buying what they like? The same arguments apply. Put it on your wall or on a stand and enjoy it.  Look at it every day.  Pat yourself on the back for having bought it and smile.  You’re enjoying it now and, hey, maybe someday it will be worth megabucks.  In the meantime, you’re enjoying it.

So what IS the matter with the art world?

Although I hesitate to include this image, just for the record, here’s my painting:

Running the Rapids

Running the Rapids        18×24         $1400

I know it’s not for everyone.  I understand the price may be high for some (low for others). But we’re not talking about just my painting. We’re talking about 140 works of art with only one sale.

SO WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THE ART WORLD?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by ruthhurd on August 3, 2016

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