Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I want to be a collector too!

The other day I was perusing CaFE, a call for entry site for artists, in the pursuit of gallery exhibitions and request for proposals. I came upon a little gem of a show “2010 Collectors Choice.” For a small fee of $35.00 an artist can send three of their finest works of art to be viewed by 25 unnamed collectors. The collectors choose the art and the artist wins because they get to put their masterpieces in front of the eyes of collectors. Maybe it is a good opportunity for some but I’m not convinced.

I had a great opportunity like this once. My work was being rented at a great venue; the possibilities for me were enormous. The Hollywood crowd, who make millions, would see it. It would have been seen by millions of people. My Gosh! If you do the math, that’s billions of people with a net worth of a gazillion dollars looking at my art. I was beaming, I had the same feeling I get when I buy a lotto ticket and the jackpot is more than the national deficit

To make a long story short, it was seen by the Hollywood elite and millions of  television fans. The publicity was great and maybe even priceless, I later found out how much it was worth…the price of a painting. When all the glamour and usefulness of my work was gone, I received part of the leased art collection back. I later came to learn a prominent “art collector” enjoyed one of my pieces and “kept” it for their art collection. I guess I would collect things too if I didn’t have to pay or return the items.

This got me thinking… I was wondering if I could have plumbers come over, pay me $35.00 and I’d let them put a new toilet in my bathroom. Think of all the times I would use it, plus my friends would use it when they came over. Theoretically it could be used over a million times by thousands of people. If I have an open studio, that alone could attract hundreds of people. Then I started thinking what if I worked my way through the yellow pages; next roofers. Do you know how many people drive by my house? These are good perspective customers looking at all the sculptures I have littered through out my yard. They slow down trying to decide if its art or am I the white trash neighbor that is bringing down the value of homes in the neighborhood. Maybe I should skip all the repairs and call a realtor to have them charge people $35.00 to bid on a house owned by an artist whose art work is owned by a famous people with lots of money. 


  1. Good piece Jeff! There are a lot of jerks in the art business and you have the intelligence to stay away from them as much as possible.

  2. this was excellent. really. thanks for sharing

  3. I should have thought of this concept when I was me and get tons of exposure being seen with me. It will only cost you....wait, is that the same as prostitution?? ;-)

  4. Fehr and Gachter said -- on the seventh round they told people, “You know what? New rule. If you want to give some of your own money to punish people who aren’t contributing, you can do that.” And as soon as people heard about the punishment issue going on, cooperation shoots up. It shoots up and it keeps going up. There’s a lot of research showing that to solve cooperative problems, it really helps. It’s not enough to just appeal to people’s good motives, it really helps to have some sort of punishment. Even if it’s just shame or embarrassment or gossip, you need some sort of punishment to bring people, when they’re in large groups, to cooperate. There’s even some recent research suggesting that religion -- priming God, making people think about God -- often, in some situations leads to more cooperative, more pro-social behavior.”

    Jonathan Haidt on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives

  5. Here an almost opposite view from my previous post that I also like. The comments are pretty good too.

    Why the NO SPEC Movement Isn’t Working. And, Why That’s so Awesome!

  6. Thanks everyone, I'm glad everyone enjoyed it.
    @ Jhina - stick with painting it has more wait stick with math.
    @ Michael - interesting insight