Sunday, 26 October 2014

Art as a commodity

'Street art @ London' by
Alex Abian under a  CC license
I am not an art expert and I'm sure that I don't have the right 'eye' for art. However, there are pieces of art, paintings, buildings, graffiti, etc. that I find 'active', in the sense that they seem to be able to cause an emotion on me.

At the very basic level, art is an object of some sort. For instance, a painting is a surface with drawings and, possibly, colours on it, arranged in a particular way. They may or may not resemble a physical object or a setup. The result may or may nor look nice. But it will evoke an emotion on some people, perhaps under certain circumstances.

To my understanding, regardless of their other functions, the works of art are a kind of commodity. A very special one, certainly different from the other goods. So my question is, how does one put a certain price tag on a work of art?

Yes, I assume supply and demand is involved. But that shouldn't be the only factor. The reputation of the artist? Yes, that too should play a role. The views of the critics? That, too. Other factors such as the 'collectible' value also play a role. The effect the work of art has on people? Hmmm.... I'm not sure that this really counts.

Well, it is clear that I won't be reaching a conclusion here. To me, handling art as a commodity feels a bit strange. The only thing I'm certain about is that art, in all possible forms and prices tags, can be a very welcome addition to our everyday life!

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