A balanced art market

From the International Herald Tribune, an article titled Dwindling art supplies generate blindness – and erratic prices. This interesting, if unfathomable, piece ends with this paragraph:

    Art lovers with millions to spare, do not despair in these lean times. Even when there is not much left to sift through, great works of art can still be found, if only because so few buyers have the eye needed to recognize them.

The article basically laments how wealthy collectors bid up mediocre works by popular artists while overlooking better paintings by lesser known craftsmen. Regardless, the numbers being thrown around are the kinds of money I think of retiring on — after giving most of it away.

But I’m not writing this post in response to the numbers or to desperate connoisseurs shelling out boatloads of clams just so they can say they own a Monet. I’m writing this to ask whether or not we can we create more of a sense of balance in the art world, with more reasonable prices and local markets. This was where my mind went after reading the title of the aforementioned article.

It’s OK that galleries, museums and individuals express such desire, via their wallets, for certain works of art by categorically revered artists. But, and this is really just brainstorming here, isn’t there a better way for all of this money to be spent? Why can’t these cash laden art lovers do a little more research and help out the quality up-and-coming local artist by purchasing his or her canvases. Not just paintings by the dead ones. What if they spent a little less on antiques and a little more on new works?

Just a thought. A rant. An aspiring artist’s ramble. Sure I have a vested interest in how collector’s spend their money on the work of living painters and sculptors. But, seriously, aren’t the prices being paid for these masterworks more than just a little bit out of hand?

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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