Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What Price? Art

A businessman recently sat in my shop asking, well, in roundabout way, why money does not seem to motivate me, maybe in the way it does him.
“There seems more to life to me, than money” I said “Art is important to me and the monetary value can become clouded or even secondary sometimes”
He pressed a bit further, his real reason though, was to find out how I tick, he had ideas about making money from me, by supplying funds, that we could share. This line of conversation was not insulting, far from it, it gave me the opportunity to explore my own thoughts and maybe understand his.
“By surrounding yourself with interests that mean something to you, there is a part of you that gets fulfilment and enlightenment, that slightly diminishes the need for cash” I said this knowing that money is very important and all things have a price. I also know that other things can not be bought.
“I deal in art and that allows me to enact other things, the job gives me a freedom, to explore, my music and study and in the studious times I also try to understand architecture. I am an artist and a potter from time to time, more keeping my hand in than creating, building up skills that may be of spherical use to me in the future” He did not look impressed, maybe he was not understanding, I thought, or does not care what I am saying because as I no longer understand his motivation to swerve people into his domain, so he may profit from their endeavours. He will not understand mine.
“Here is some of my artwork,” I said reaching over for some life drawings I had recently completed. I do these in about 10 minutes, I consider them a good staring point and show a level of understanding to go on I may use this one, of which I am proud as an oil study”
He looked at them without any observation and said quite flippantly, “Do you sell them Wayne”
“No not really”
“So how much would you sell that one for”, pushing further “How much is it worth?” He asked directly.
“Probably about a hundred an thirty”
“What for five minutes work” he asked cheekily
“Its not the time it is the level of experience, it takes a long time to get to that stage, do do the work at such a brisk pace, so its not the five minutes work, but the culmination of skills acquired and the emotion that you put into your work that counts.”
He looked and curled his lip up at one pencil sketch, that I know to be good.
“Didnt you just proclaim proudly that you own some Lowry sketches”
“Yes, he said, I payed”.... Here I interrupt him abruptly.
“So you value a Lowry sketch in several thousands, that's very interesting indeed, as think I could knock one of them out in, about.......... three minutes.”
He didn't reply.
Sometimes an encounter with such an unenlightened individual makes you think.

Think about who are those that know the cost of everything....and the value of nothing.

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