Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Selling your best stuff!
Andy Warhol mentored many artists. I remember reading some advice that he gave to Keith Haring.
Keith had become a very financially successful artist and Warhol told him to buy real estate and that was sound advice and probably still is. He also made another suggestion, that he NOT sell his best! H-mmm! Interesting!
So many times you work really hard and strive to do your best and then when you have an exhibition opportunity you want to show your best. Even choose that particular piece for the announcement card or have it chosen by someone that also thinks it's the best. It has been my experience and I have observed this many times, that that piece sells. Sometimes before the show opens. We smile, and for some this is a successful marketing strategy.
So what is Warhol suggesting?
I am going to segway for a moment to a comment by Robert Genn and the frequency of sales. He mentions a wildlife artist that died with a half completed painting on the easel and no stock. He had sold everything he ever did. Bravo!
Genn admitted that that was not his own experience and that he had to produce 10 paintings to sell 4, then some time later he would sell a few more, and the rest would pile up in the shed.
I completely relate to this model. My equation is to paint 6 and sell 2 and 2 more maybe later. The end result is that I have sheds full of stuff, of questionable quality.
If you are successful enough to have significant price increases during your life time you are not the one that directly benefits from those after market sales.
This maybe what Warhol was getting at.
Of the two paintings I have posted today, They are my favorites of the six that were produced. I managed to keep "Goose Chase", but "Brick House" got away.
In addition to the investment potential, it is also a joy to keep your best effort!
These were my first attempts to go out with the idea of looking up.