Friday, 10 February 2017

Still baffled.

Hello. I don't think I will ever understand how a piece of art is valued. I was in The Ropewalk Gallery yesterday at Barton, the exhibition was by artist Gillian Ross Kelsey. I like the colours and the geometrical shapes, but what is it that makes the pictures so expensive? This is one of life's biggest mysteries for me, I can't get my head round it. 
Maybe it's because I am a bit of a skinflint, maybe I don't see art as a must have, maybe I am not passionate enough about it. Who knows. 
I tend to look at art in a simplistic way, I either like it or don't like it, or maybe it's just ok, or maybe I get really excited by something absolutely amazing. There are lots of maybe's in art. What I don't understand is what is going on in the artists brain as they create their masterpieces. Yes, I read the blurb alongside the picture, either on the wall or in the catalogue, or on their web site, but I am non the wiser as it is all waffle to me. When does any artist say I made this picture because I like it? Or I was excited? 
I am in no way criticizing Gillian's work, I just wondered how the price is set. If you want to buy any, go to her web site. 
Twelve small canvases at £100 each, £1000 for the set of 12. 

The edges have been deliberately left drippy to show the layers of paint.

Larger picture, £850.


Prints are cheaper.
This picture has been sold, it's only a few inches square.

Reading up about the artist, she has years of experience, lots of qualifications, has studied art at all levels, and is well respected. Maybe it's the name that people buy into, and as art is so subjective, maybe anything would sell as art. It's all a bit bonkers to me.

I went on to the Ferens Gallery yesterday in Hull. They have an open exhibition over three galleries, a wide range of a couple of hundred or more artworks by local and amateur artists. I must say that the standards were very high, some fabulous works there. If money was no object I could have picked out a dozen or more for myself. The exhibition is on until the 12th of March, definitely worth a look if you are in Hull.

I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures of The Blade, but for now, I want to get on with my own art. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

35 comments:

  1. All very Emperor's New Clothes to me, too, Ilona. They're not exactly Raphael or Vermeer or even the Pre-Raphaelites, are they? Blocks of colour hardly constitute 'art' to me.
    Margaret P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree! I never got Jackson Pollock either - canvases ruined by vomiting paint pots!

      Linda

      Delete
  2. Looks like paint swatches she made while trying to decide what color to paint her house! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha- so true!

      Delete
    2. That's what I saw too! I guess we aren't very sophisticated. Give me a Monet or one of the Old Masters. Judy

      Delete
  3. Well.

    An item is worth what a willing but not anxious buyer is prepared to pay a willing but not anxious seller for it.

    Art is about statement and response. I suppose is a response hehe.

    Cheers

    Marie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like all your pictures much better. Yours are colourful, full of detail and often in different mediums. Emperors new clothes is just what it is. Love Andie xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I thought it looked very 1970's and all been done before sort of thing, maybe retro is in? Anyway, it's not my thing but I will be going to Hull later this month. Thanks for interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, I'm thinking that as a fabulous and creative lady you could probably whip up one of these color block paintings for yourself for a few cents. That is, if such things appeal to you. Don't find much interest in them myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you should say that, slysister, I've made a start. Mine is a bit more than straight lines though.

      Delete
  7. One year for Christmas my mother-in-law took a white canvas probably 18" x 24" , and had my twins (probably 3 years old) fling red, black and silver paint at it (these colors matched my living room). They gave it to me, and were very proud of their art. Months later, a very well-to-do "friend" came over and asked who the artist was because she wanted to have a piece commissioned. When I told her my toddlers made it, she looked very surprised and said they had raw, true talent!! :-) Hahahahahaha!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is difficult for an artist to price their work. I know I struggle. Take into account the materials used. For it not to fade or get soiled good quality and not cheap materials have to be used. Then there is the time one takes. A professional artist once told me if you dont value your work no-one else will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my cheap tester pots of household paint don't cut it then. Maybe I can sell my paintings cheap :o)

      Delete
    2. Yes they do ! Household paint is very good as you can, as you well know, give it a wash ! x

      Delete
  9. I did ask an artist this once, I think it was in response to the 'unmade bed' style of art installation and when I said, anyone could do that, the response was, yes they could but they don't. So I guess you can make of that what you want. I think sometimes it's a case of you value yourself high enough and although you may not sell many, those that you do, reflect what you are worth. At the end of the day, things are only worth what people are prepared to pay for them - which is really a bad way to look at stuff but we live in a world dominated by money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that response before, and I suppose it's true. Sometimes it's the actual idea behind the work that is of value, rather than the work itself.

      Delete
    2. I was going to comment on Tracey Emin's unmade bed too. Will never for the life of me understand how that is "art" - or is it just gullible people being taken for a ride by a con artist? And how about the pile of building bricks bought by the Tate Gallery. Not sure anyone can convince me but then maybe I'm just a pleb.

      Delete
  10. The art world has a business tone to it; these paintings look unimpressive to me. Give me a Pre-Raphaelite painting that shines like a jewel, or a Picasso sketch or a Monet water lily and pond painting any day.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really like the large painting. I love the way the colors are layered. I wouldn't pay that much but a print of it would be nice. I am more of a textile person. I do a lot of spinning and knitting. Just starting to weave. I really enjoy seeing your creativity in all the pieces you make. Love, Margaret

    ReplyDelete
  12. well, my only complaint/discouragement...

    is

    I did not think of/do this first, and make money off of it...sigh

    sort of brings to mind an old expression..

    "there's a sucker born every minute"

    not always, but in general, on these art shows, and art sales

    the uglier something is, the more it seems to be worth...

    ReplyDelete
  13. If I created these, I wouldn't think they are good enough to give to the charity shop, I could create these no problem and certainly wouldn't pay that sort of money for them. I love wire sculptures of something, for instance, the fairies at trentham
    http://www.trentham.co.uk/trentham-gardens/lake-and-lakeside-activities/fairies-at-trentham, they have scultures in the gardens there and over the lake Julie T

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Ilona. Maybe some art is like the emporer's clothes. Some folks can be persuaded to believe anything: he's naked but you're supposed to agree with the crowd and ooh-ah at the non-existent clothing. Or it's pricey art because someone says it is. "Ask and you (may) receive." (If you don't ask, you don't get. If you do ask, you may get.) Finally, you NEED life insurance because we said so. (hah!) Take care. Keep up the good stuff, which I adore. Elaine near Philadelphia

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad you went to see the Ferens yesterday and you liked what you saw. Me and Jenny got tickets for the re-opening night 3 weeks ago, but there were so many people inside we couldn't really see everything properly, so need another visit next week. Looking forward to seeing your 'blade' pics tomorrow - I'm sure they'll be better than mine :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I get no pleasure from this modern art, paintings or sculpture. I want to know what I'm looking at immediately, I don't want to analyse someone's interpretation of a subject. Maybe I'm a philistine, but like a previous reader I really believe it's the emperors clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. they look like something you could knock up with your tester pots of pain Ilona. I have been asked to give an artist statement about my magpie pictures. I couldn't just say I liked doing them but made up some waffle about how they related to the theme they wanted. I had the girls at quilt group in stitches ( no pun intended) as I told them what I had made up. Still it has satisfied the requirements.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What makes art fun is the variable reactions to it..though tbh I do think some artists are pushing it a bit with their prices!!! I don't understand how people go from painting at home to getting stuff in galleries, how do they start promoting themselves etc. I paint a lot but don't have the confidence to try and sell my work, just would have no idea how to go about it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Some of it is in the eye of the beholder and some work is interesting and others not to my taste at all! I've had my photography in shows and a couple galleries. I've enjoyed it and also been disappointed when art work gets picked over mine at shows that's not even good! Others were as well! It's what the judge feels he/she likes that's got chosen. I feel those prices are way out of line. Yes, artist needs to make money after the gallery takes it's cut, usually 40 or 50 percent. I did it because I enjoyed my work out there. Now there's walls to hang them in my living room. Sometimes I print and frame and give away as gifts. Each to their own!

    ReplyDelete
  20. They're having us all on. Fortunately some of us are sane enough to realise this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I used to think the same about Mark Rothko until I watched a Simon Schama documentary about his work and he explained the square on blank canvas was actually representing the death camps in Nazi Germany. If you look from a distance it is just rectangles that pull you in but as you walk towards it is possible to see tiny, feathery chinks of light. It is very eerie and clever. It pulls you in and at the same time makes you feel trapped. http://www.tate.org.uk/search?type=artwork&aid=1875. They are worth millions. Some of his work was commissioned by an elitist restaurant, he wanted to make it so dark that he would ruin the appetites of every person dining there.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Some interesting comments here. I'm married to an artist, it never fails to amaze me how people don't understand the hours that can go into a work of art. People think an idea pops up, splash a bit of paint on a canvas and there you have it!

    Husband works with oil on canvas, it's not just a matter of splashing it on! He's a successful artist and has a waiting list of commissions, however the creative mind doesn't always work to order. I know the hours that go into his work and every penny he gets for his work is justified and well earned.

    I'm more of a "crafty" person, I think those of us who don't have the true creative mind of an artist (as opposed to craftwork) are unable to understand just how an artist's mind and their creativity works.

    My craftwork sells quite well too but anyone could learn how to do it, whereas a true artist is born with the ability.

    Bren

    ReplyDelete
  23. Raymond nicholson11 February 2017 at 19:41

    Lets splash some paint on and talk rubbish about it, then charge the earth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good wheeze for some it would seem!

      Delete
  24. I commented before, but the "is that art" thing sticks in my mind..

    I truly think it is "salesmanship", some folks are good at it, some not, some are lucky/some not..

    way back when I had my first yard sale, to get rid of vast amounts of goods I hadn't used in yrs (most of it junk)...I had an interesting experience

    I had a large stack of tomato cages (cone shaped sort of three foot tall metal cages. you stick them in the ground to protect/support growing tomato plants)...maybe thirty of them.

    The tomato cages had been through many moves, and looked much the worse for wear...And, I had long decided / realised, tomato plants were not growing for me in my then new home...so decided to get rid of them..

    At first I priced them at a pittance (I figured at least someone would haul them away for me..), and then I rethought it, and decided if I priced them cheap, others would think they were garbage and not purchase, where as, if I valued them highly, so might some other..

    In end, I priced them at well over new, and quickly sold all but a couple, which then were halved and also sold..

    I think many things are like this, include "art"..Price it high enough, and someone will think it valuable and "must have".

    ReplyDelete