Beach Reflections Distant Storm

Beach Reflections, Distant Shores

The following is a frank assessment of the current art market, from this artist’s perspective.

As most of you know, I have an extensive catalogue of available artwork. It happens when you’ve been doing art for forty years. I’ve spent some time recently adjusting each artwork on my site, making sure they are definitely available, if I say they are. I am also clarifying the info about each piece and making sure my prices are consistent, accurate and fair. I have also made the prices more consistent across the board.
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The original of Alexa just sold and I included the basic gold frame at no additional cost to the buyer.

The truth is, my work is currently priced below market value (based on my FMV, over 40 years). The main reason is because I am not working through galleries at this time, preferring for the moment, to sell directly from my website. Galleries are expensive and add greatly to the retail cost of the artist’s work. I’m not saying galleries aren’t worth it. I ran the brick and mortar version of the Maniscalco Gallery in Grosse Pointe for eight years. Nothing will ever replace an art gallery, being in the physical presents with the artwork and the service galleries provide. But I have made a personal commitment to making my work accessible to people in a variety of financial situations because I believe art should be part of everyone’s lives, not just the rich. Even my portrait and custom art prices are lower than they were even five years ago, though of course, still much higher than my non-commission fine art.

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The low prices I charge for my non-commission work reflect the cost of my freedom to paint what I like, what I am curious about. With Covid vaccinations, much has been said about our responsibilities as it relates to our freedom. Freedom has a cost. I pass that savings on to the consumer through lower than market prices on my art. I am literally subsidizing my fine art, for which demand is simply not as high, as my commission work. The reasons demand is not as high as it once was are myriad. It mostly has to do with a lack of exposure to my particular market niche, a disconnect in terms of marketing in the new socials terrain, where my skillset in reaching my market is lagging. Also, the market for representational work is pretty well saturated, so it’s easy to get lost in the mix. The result for my collectors is it is possible to get a great deal on my high quality work, because in this moment, the value is greater than the cost. The lack of equity between my commission work and my non-commission work of course is also not sustainable. Inequity anywhere is unsustainable. What that means for my art is we should expect my prices to rise for my non-commission work in the coming years. Buy low, sell high.

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Girl Leaning on a Tree

There are other reasons for the lower prices, in addition to the afore mentioned. One is competition. People now have access to plenty of good art globally, so the market is very crowded. There are alternative media and platforms available, including digital art and NFTs, which has put even more downward pressure on all artists. That is why I now offer images on my website in the form of limited edition, hand-embellished Giclees (5) and Artist Proofs (5).  Most of my work is available in signed, numbered reproduction. Did you know, a signed, limited edition (under 200), hand embellished giclee is considered an original work of art, according to international copyright laws? All my work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. I’m also doing a lot more licensing of my work.

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Nothing can replace an original

But nothing can replace the energy and spirit imbued into an original work of art, which is inherently difficult to convey online. You can now inspect my artwork in extreme closeup on my online shop. And if you email me a photo of your space, I will gladly provide a pic of what your selection(s) of my work will look like on your wall. I have an “under $500” category as well, where I have made many of my originals even more affordable, leaving no more excuses for bare walls or poster art. My originals come framed and in most cases, I can find a frame in basic wood, gold or basic black. But I’m not selling the frames, just the art. The frame is just an added bonus. Most people will reframe the artwork anyway, to suit their own tastes and environment.
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The world is evolving and the art market is changing with it, becoming more polarized, putting a squeeze on the middle market. Needless to say, it is a great time to be on the market for some great art. I encourage you to visit my online gallery and see for yourself what I mean.
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