This evening, I posted that an artist was selling some drawings. I posted on the blog and on Instagram. I asked for pricing, after the fact, and was told that they weren't comfortable publicly releasing the details. I think you have to respect everyone's process and opinion, but this isn't an isolated case. I think the discussion of transparent pricing vs. nebulous pricing, needs to be addressed. I wear a few different hats, as I'm an art collector, but also want to help others collect real art and break down the notion, that you need to be wealthy to collect. Additionally, I want to promote those who create beauty in this world and our community. It's so rare for people to make a living at their passion and I believe we should reward those who are doing so.
To Post Or Not To Post - That Is The Question!
As a individual, I pride myself on being open and honest. To me, integrity is everything. It’s worth more than Bitcoin, Gold, Tulips, or a dinner date with actor Britt Robertson ( I hope my wife doesn’t read that part). As a random guy who posts pretty things on the internet, I still adhere to this general philosophy, while online. I’m never going to tell anyone that something is great, if I don’t think it is. I would make the world’s worst businessman and would win that award, year after year (I’m currently accepting bids for a trophy display case). In saying that, I want to discuss transparent pricing.
I’ve briefly discussed this issue previously, but wanted to post my expanded thoughts. Again, like art, this is my subjective view and it’s not meant to be an objective analysis. Everyone will bring a different perspective to this topic and like art itself, will never be fully agreed upon.
I’m conflicted as...
Here are my concerns when prices aren’t posted...
If everyone saw that piece ‘x’ costs price ‘y’, would it sit in the shop forever? Would it sell immediately?
And it’s not fair to make the argument that you should only buy the art you love. I agree with this statement in principle, but as an average North American, these pieces are my greatest assets. And while I have no intention of selling, at some point I won't be here anymore or my family may hit hard times and I need to move a piece etc...life happens.
3. Does the artist have confidence in their work?
I recall a gallerist stating that the gallery isn’t a store. They don’t want to post visible prices, as it would cheapen the work/experience. Perhaps a gallery has the ability to have in-person conversations or have a binder of prices available, away from the art. But what about online?
The soul and years of sweat equity an artist puts into a piece and the commodity of the piece are not mutually exclusive. They coexist together.
My thought: Post your prices. Let the work speak for itself. Adjust up/down as needed.