Affordable Art Does Not Exist

Since the summer, I've been preparing a new website focused on selling fine art prints, which got me actively interested in art marketing. Immediately, I started receiving ads offering "affordable art from well-known and quality artists." When you think about it, it doesn't make much sense. Firstly, affordability is relative – what's affordable for one may not be for another. However, this could be adjusted as the ad targets people's behavior and shopping habits.

Secondly, unless it's a special promotion, professional art cannot be considered affordable because artists wouldn't sustain themselves. Considering all the costs and time an artist invests in their work, it's clear that the price of the artwork must be sufficiently high to cover these expenses. Also, an artist's reputation and history need to be considered.

The Red – Alone at the bar

So, if someone offers artwork or limited edition prints at an unusually favorable price all year round, it must be somehow subsidized. This doesn't mean you shouldn't acquire such artwork – I'm just pointing out that it's likely a promotional activity, and the price may not correspond to the actual value. Moreover, when you acquire artwork from a specific artist, you often become a collector of that artist's work. If all their pieces are "affordable," there might be a catch, or it could be another one-time event, and subsequent works from that artist might be at a significantly higher price.

Let me give another example. Last Sunday, I launched my website for testing purposes, and it currently features only a few photographs. The price is at its lowest for a few days (only production and shipping costs). It's not even a sale – It's purely an attempt to test processes, the functionality of the e-shop, and the quality of delivery. I won't make any profit from this, and it surely won't happen again because that would be counterproductive. So, while I'm offering my fine art prints at an "affordable" price, it's clear that it's not profitable or sustainable in the long term.

*Note: This was at the end of 2023.

So what is the conclusion? Under certain circumstances, it's possible to acquire artwork much cheaper than usual (or advantageous for the artist). However, in such cases, it's more of a one-time situation. If art is consistently cheap, it probably won't be of high quality. So, instead of searching for affordable art, I believe it's more important to focus on finding art that resonates with you personally. The value of art lies in the emotions it evokes and the meaning it holds for the viewer.

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