Tuesday, April 24, 2012


  I just got off the phone to Shewho. She's thinking of putting two pieces from her collection up for sale. There's a museum interested in one and the other may go up at Art Basel. It's a tough decision for her. Both of these works have sentimental value. But the art market is strong for the time being and may not be much longer. When we started The White Sulfur Springs Project in 2007 the hope was that the real estate market would remain strong and her house/piece would at least retain its value, if not increase. Well with no "art" value yet attached to 192 Midway Rd., the real estate value went right in the dumper. Money dried up and Shewho's kitchen remains raw sheet rock and a conglomeration of odd ball shelves and cabinets. Could selling art be the answer?
    I've spent an entire career not selling art. My church burns dollar bills. Selling work either through galleries or out the back door has never materialized. Thankfully this hasn't been much of an issue in regard to producing more. I make my money working for the man (or woman) and fund my art with that. Many artists my age (and much younger) sell for big prices. So it is when I do consider putting a monetary value on pieces I have to look at a "successful" artist's prices in order to get an idea. Forget Cady Noland's $6 mil. range. That's an aberration that no one can explain. I look more to the $ a relatively obscure artist in the artworld would command for say an abstract painting. It's not unheard of for these works to bring something like $60,000 to $80,000 for a good sized canvas. They talk about things like paint vicousity and gesture. I know it sounds ridiculous. But that's art.
    So with Memorial Weekend Social Sculpture coming up I've decided to put a price on a few things. My most accessible work is the Kristan Kohl series. These are canvases I've done since 1984 under the name Kristan Kohl (a dead German woman artist). Each piece is dated 1952, no matter what year I completed it. Some are recent. Others go back decades. I started small- book covers. Then I did all different sized ones, settling on a comfortable 54"X 90". So lets start with these. A 54"X 90" will run you $12, 000. I know it sounds like a lot, but for someone of my age and lets face it- "talent", I can't let 'em go for less. Many works like the tattoo prints, meat from my dead cow, and the ashes from hundreds of burned dollars I refuse to even put a price on. You can't afford them. Think about it. Could selling art be the answer? We'll see.    


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