Posts by Thuy Man, is currently a student studying graphic design at Monster Lab, with a passion for writing and studying visual arts.
We talk a lot about art, our passion and love for it, we tell each other stories around it, about its life and its ups and downs. We know who it was made of, what inspired it, but little is known about how it is sold and what makes it so expensive.
The value of art is intangible, it is the beauty, love and desire of customers for a certain work. Because of such subjective factors, the value of art can expand dramatically and if you are an art dealer, you want the ball to stretch as much as possible. To do that you don’t need the talent or the hard work of an artist, what you need is a trick and sometimes a bit of ruthlessness.
“There are only two important things in the art market: one is the dead client, the other is the dead artist”
Throughout art history, death has always been something very seductive for merchants. Buying only works by dead artists has been going on for centuries, simply because bargaining with the dead is always easier and because the death of an artist is also a milestone. the life and number of their works. The more limited an artist has, the higher the price will be. The same goes for collectors, the death of a collector is an indication that a collection of works held for decades (even centuries) is about to return to the market. It is an opportunity for other collectors to have works they admire, also an opportunity for traders and auction houses to jump in to make a profit.
The more time-dusted art, the more expensive it is, especially when it is the works of famous masters in the past. At that time, it was not only a work of art, but also a thing bearing the imprint of a period, with the distinctive themes and techniques of that period. But the number of such works is always very limited, unable to afford an ever-expanding market, since then the market starts to keep an eye on the works of living artists, who are capable. increase in number over time as well as be willing to pamper tastes.
But when an overwhelming supply of customers is threatened by more risks, old works are likely to be fakes and new ones always make them skeptical of artistic value. To reassure customers, wholesalers need to give them a guarantee of quality. But cats cannot praise themselves for long-tailed cats, they need a third party to confirm this, knowledgeable enough, reputable enough – critics and art historians.
Critics, art historians play an important role in determining the value of a work, their praise in the comments will influence the consumption as well as contribute to the price increase. for art. That scholarly work is sometimes impartial, but at times it is the calculation aimed at making a profit for an art dealer.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, Joseph Duveen bringing the works of European masters to America for sale, to create the prestige he has linked with Bernard Berenson, in order to receive reviews and verification of your paintings. This relationship lasted for many years, with commissions ranging from 10-25% of the estimated selling price between 1911 and 1937. Bernard received about 8 million dollars in commissions from Duveen.
Out Berenson, Duveen also linked with many critics and directors of museums such as Roger Fry, Charles Holmes, Wilhelm von Bode, the intermediate nobles, the restorers, … A network that range from noble princes to amateur agents. Duveen take care of their customers by giving money to their housekeepers, helpers to get information. During business with collectors Maurice de Rothschild, before each meeting he always phoned the Rothschild family maid to inquire about the homeowner’s constipation condition, to find out if it was a reasonable day for the sale. Dedicated care is always a necessity for customers of most large sizes.
But the traders’ problem is still only making a profit, if Duveen and many others trying to hook up and sell to the elite, well Ernest Gambart 19th-century British art dealer, making a profit following a completely different strategy, aimed at low-end consumers.
The desire for art is not only available to the elite, and to satisfy that desire for those who do not have a lot of money. Gambart buy their works, organize exhibitions and sell their entrance tickets. Why sell works to make a profit when you can make a lasting profit by satisfying the curiosity of many crowds, across so many different locations. And when curiosity turned to love and admiration, people were always ready to buy a printed copy of the painting. Sometimes the sale of tickets and prints brings so much profit after that Gambart generously donating original works to museums and churches.
Ernest Gambart as a keen man, he always chooses a work that is famous but many people have not seen with their own eyes, or a potential work that has not been exhibited anywhere, and then turns to an art critic to create a bout communication fever.
Around 1860s when W. Holman Hunt completed The Finding of The Savior in The Temple, it should have appeared at an exhibition at the Royal Academy but Gambart convinced Holman Hunt sell the work to yourself, then let it FG Stephens write about it. The commentary intrigued the public and leveraged a large number of tickets and prints sold, and in just seven weeks of April and May of 1862, 21,000 people paid to see it.
Seizing opportunities is important in business, but there are safe opportunities, but there are also opportunities that come with recklessness. Paul Durand-Ruel, the art dealer was reckless when at the end of the 19th century, while others clung to the famous names, the arts of great value, he ignored the market and bought in bulk New artwork by Impressive painters.
Then the problem of Durand-Ruel Not only selling, but also promoting and persuading the public to accept new art. He has organized a series of exhibitions everywhere, not only in France but also in Germany and America. Accompanied by great efforts in publishing magazines, explaining Impressions, as well as spreading new ideas about art, centered on artist.
If painting was measured in the past by realism, Impression is now trying to overstate it and replace it with the personality of the artist. This branding strategy of Durand-Ruel was successful beyond expectation, because he not only succeeded for Impression but also completely changed the way the public thinks about art.
But media success does not mean it will entail commercial success, to get it still takes tricks like auction, price faking are tricks to stimulate the market. Year 1872 Durand-Ruel sent one person to an auction and paid nearly 400,000 francs for his work MilletThis has created a fever for our works Millet later. He talks with Renoir: “When selling publicly, the selling price must be a large number even though it has to be counterfeited. It is the only way we can have success. ”
That is why art is so expensive, all the numbers we hear are intentional numbers and as a matter of fact, the art dealer will always justify his price. . One of the popular selling scenarios is to enhance artistic value, lower value for money, like way Duveen Usually tell the customer: “When you pay a premium for something invaluable, you’re getting a good deal.”
Money is still important in the end. With an artist starting to gain a name in the market, the dealer will want to be able to sign exclusive contracts to prevent competition from other dealers. But for artists who are not popular in the market, it is likely that they will soon be estranged.
Paul Rosenberg is a good example for the love of money. If other merchants sell works they believe are beautiful, then Paul Rosenberg he claimed straightforwardly in a 1927 interview about the Cube, that he did not find it beautiful unless it was sold.
Picasso the person born of the Cubist school almost abandoned it for his advice Paul, at that time Paul his paintings could not be sold. In 1923, when Paul open for individual exhibitions Picasso in New York but the results were not as expected, Paul talk to Picasso: “Your show was a huge hit and like so many others, we didn’t sell anything at all.” – sarcasm is a trademark of Paul Rosenberg.
The relationships between artists and traders are not very good, so that’s why Camille Pissarro has always been angry with traders, especially with Durand-Ruel when disputes over interests. After that, Matisse also vehemently opposed to his son Pierre Matisse became an art dealer because he felt it was a disgusting profession, and like the way Marcel Duchamp Commenting on art dealers that: “The lice are on the artist’s back.”
But no matter how much they hate it, it cannot be denied the importance of the art dealers. if do not have Paul Rosenberg, Picasso it will be difficult to overcome the financial problems of World War I years. If Durand-Ruel Not sending impressive paintings to the Russian exhibition in 1896 Kandinsky Can’t see the hay’s hay Monet, it is impossible to have any progress in becoming an Abstract artist in the future. And if Duveen If art does not come to America, it is very likely that the New York art capital will not exist.
Without those people art would not be able to develop, artists would not have a place, so even though they are clever and tricky, their role in the art world is irreplaceable. . And while art is inherently born of love, it needs to be nourished with money.
Article: Thuy Man
Posts are posted on the group Maybe This Art Should Be Known – Talking and discussion space for anyone who loves art / creativity.