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Monday, January 4, 2010

Mad at the World


Umm ... oil .... 80cm x 60cm x 4cm (31.5 inches x 23.6 inches).

This is actually a WIP shot ... I did another hours work on it before selling it. (It went the day after completing it, so I never had a chance to take another photo.)

I really struggled to sell this painting. And I mean that literally; I struggled! It wasn't that the painting wasn't wanted. On the contrary, it was booked before I'd finished it; but the actual process of selling it made me incredibly uncomfortable. I wonder if all artists suffer with the same crises of faith (in myself, my work and it's worth) that I seem to wrestle with every time I have to deal with the business end of art. I simply battle to a) put a price to my artwork, b) convince myself that it is worthy of public purchase and then c) find the enthusiasm to name my price and if necessary negotiate.
In this instance it was all the worse because the lady who bought it was wonderful to deal with and responsible for me having sold a number of other paintings. She asked for a price and I resisted telling her the price for some innexplicable reason. Long story short I sold it for 25% of it's worth ... happily, but puzzled as to why I couldn't approach it as ruthless business.

I wonder to if that is why so many artists would rather deal through a gallery than go it alone. It removes the personal from the transaction ... the gallery doesn't care what you charge (the more they get the happier they are), and they are emotionally distanced from the work. Having a middleman deal with the 'conflict' and keep the world one step away is convenient, and arguably worth the 30-40% commissions they demand.

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