Not recommended: dying for the sake of your art career

The New York Times tells of the sudden interest in deceased artists’ works–artists who could barely sell a thing while they were alive.

Fair? Hardly! Predictable? Maybe. A strategy? Definitely not.

There are some lessons to be learned by reading the article. For instance, how the artists "behaved" toward the establishment while alive. Take a peek.

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2 comments to Not recommended: dying for the sake of your art career

  • From the article: “…the limited inventory imposed by an artist’s death can end up increasing prices” Ah, the art world. Don’t you get the sense that people who say things like this would be just as happy selling stamps or baseball cards? Just as long as they were selling something that was a “limited edition”.

  • John Pence uses Will Wilson’s small annual output a selling point (Wilson is very much alive!). “Paintings are priced from $9,500 to $150,000. Very few works are available at any one time, so collectors are urged to make their interests known . . .” It is a strategy that works and they both benefit from it. Making art is a passion for artists, and very much a business for gallery owners. That is one way for everyone involved to make a living in the art world. Art is not the only business with this type of relationship. My father-in-law was a surgeon with an absolute passion for the healing arts. He was not a great businessman so he worked in a hospital run by businesspeople. That way he could practice his art and make a living. If artists don’t want to deal business people like gallery owners who need to be realistic about the hard realities of the market, then artists need to become business people for themselves.