Monday, August 17, 2009

Photograph v. Painting / McGraw v. Kitchel

McGraw Parking Lot Weeds Photograph #43
Karen Kitchel's painting of Parking Lot #9

I saw Karen Kitchel's paintings on I was checking my stats and her paintings showed up in the same search as my photographs. I like her painting, I'd buy it. But would I pay $4,800 for it at the Robischon Gallery?

I do not understand pricing in the art world. I don't get it for paintings and I don't get it for photography. With photography, I can at least estimate my framing costs when putting a price on a photo. For an 18x18in of the photograph on the left, I'd probably charge between $300 and $400. Karen's painting the same size is $4,800.

One-of-a-kind / Unlimited equal reproductions.

All of my future photographs will be numbered runs of 5 or 10. My framing will be nice, too, and reasonably priced.

And I'm just going to take good photographs from now on. Deal?


Karen Kitchel said...

Dear Michael;

You raise many interesting issues here. Artists and their audiences have been discussing questions of price, quality, supply and demand for a long time. It's a healthy discussion.

Questions of multiples vs. single works, supply, distribution, name recognition, "originality", intent, and context are all in play here. The seniority and development of the artist, his/her collector base, and institutional support also factor in. Some artists also enjoy a "waiting list" of buyers for their work, contributing to a steady rise in price over time.

Thank you for expressing that you like my paintings, but I'm surprised that you ended the conversation on the note of whether or not YOU would pay the asking price. Many, many people are involved in my art and the discussion surrounding it. It is not a simple matter of price, although I understand how a comparison of subject matter alone provoked the price question.

Thanks for letting me comment,
Karen Kitchel

Michael McGraw - said...

Karen, I appreciate your input on the discussion. I have not considered factors like institutional support and a waiting list as factors in pricing. I mean you no offense with my comment about whether or not I would pay your asking price; this is more a reflection of my situation--my budget is usually between $100 and $500 for a piece of art. I hoped that I was not giving off a tone of "how dare someone charge that much" but failed. My apologies.
For others who want to join the discussion, look at Karen's exhibit photos on her website and then look at my exhibit photos from Hudson Hospital. We are playing in different fields.
Good luck with your art!

About Me

My photo
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Photographer/Artist based in Mpls, MN. I have a studio in the NE Arts District--Studio #274 at the Northrup King Bldg, 1500 Jackson St NE. I photograph elements of nature to explore color, shape, and composition. My goal is to capture images of the nature around me in a way that explodes (or seaps) with beauty. If that nature is in a vacant city lot, all the better. (All images Copyrighted. Use permitted with permission).

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