Thursday, 11 July 2013

Art For Art's Sake, Money For God's Sake.

So, how do you put a price on your work?   How do you assess what your finished pieces are worth? 

It might simply be a clinical assessment of the raw materials you have used.  So that's a simple calculation -  canvas plus paint plus framing plus your desired profit margin = selling price.

Or maybe it's the price you put on your own time, compared to what you can sell your skills for elsewhere ?

Perhaps you have an eye on your own immortality and consider the added value you are bringing into the world by your creative endeavours - in which case, that's a valuation that's best left to the ages.

But what if the creative process actually lowers or destroys the perceived value of the source material ? 

The most famous instance was probably when Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty burned one million pound sterling in 1994.  They followed that by touring a short film of the burning and producing a book, while the ashes from the cash went to form a single house brick.  You can read more about that here

Slightly less costly but more recent and closer to home, a life-sized papier mache sculpture, "The Paper Boy",  currently on display in Sheffield, has been inadvertently manufactured from recycled newsprint that had an alleged resale value of over £20,000.  One commentator has said it would have been cheaper to produce the work from Italian marble but it's creator, Andrew Vickers, retains a sense of perspective and says "to be honest I'm shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny. I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less. I think it's brilliant."

The story broke on the BBC at the weekend.  Click through the links below to read more

"The Paper Boy " was on display at S1 Artspace, Trafalgar Street, Sheffield until July 11th.

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