Friday, November 16, 2007

Response to question about art pricing & consignment method of selling works of art...

All other wholesalers sell their product directly to retailers who are free to mark the product up from the wholesale price that they paid...Manufacturers of computers cannot control the ultimate retail price unless they also sell directly to the public, as an example...The reason for the consignment nature of art is usually because a gallery does not have the money to pony up a wholesale price for an entire collection...This is changing...Some galleries will now buy works outright for a wholesale price, then resell them ...For the artist , this means money in hand immediately...It also means that art will be treated like craft, like clothing, like almost any other retail commodity on the planet...This is in contrast to the current situation where the artist gives an entire collection for free to a gallery with no promise of payment...If the work is not sold it must be reclaimed again with no payment...any investment in framing, shipping, packaging, artist website, statements, coaching etcetera must be swallowed by the artist, again with no payment for their troubles...If the trend continues with artists showing their works in more traditional retail stores or boutiques, inevitably the buying outright model will prevail...this may also curtail the ridiculously high prices we see on works that are questionable...Like any wholesale product, if you wholesale for say $200 dollars & someone is reselling that for $200,000 then the reseller is probably a criminal...If the purchaser is honest however they should resell at a standard resell retail which is 100% markup...I don't see why an artist should be in charge of the sales aspect of a gallery, in the same way the salespeople should stay out of artistic decisions...I do understand your point though...
The credential came from a CARFAC book on contracts which was published in 2004...stands for Canadian Artist's Representation Federation Artistes Canadians , which is a union of sorts which protects artist's copyrights & will litigate on their behalf...They pioneered the fee artists enjoy today which is paid if showing in a museum or other non-commercial setting...Artists around the world benefit from their work, not just Canadians...
Sari
p.s. if a retailer is asking a price for something they are forced to put a price tag or similar on the product...I don't think it would be hard to find out actual selling prices , especially if someone is unscrupulous...

No comments: