Bouguereau in the Versace collection

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Bouguereau in the Versace collection

From Jeffery LeMieux

Published before 2005


Graydon:

First, I LOVE the little I've been able to see of your work.

I have the luxury of not having to care much what prices are paid for paintings because my wife likes to work and make the family's money. Add that I have a low maintenance lifestyle, no expensive habits and no dreams of expensive lifestyles to come, and I can be pretty relaxed about the money thing. It seems to me that all this chasing paintings with prices is a "game" almost entirely divorced from real value, a pure market exercise unrelated to the product being exchanged. If I were to try to make a living from painting, I would be incensed at that game. Artists almost NEVER win at that game, except those who make marketing a primary goal of theirs. Then they paint under pseudonyms to see if their successful marketing has anything to do with whether their work is actually good or not.

The people who make money in art are the ones who trade it, not generally the ones who make it. The people who can afford a ten million dollar investment are generally able to hold it a few years and turn a nice profit.
    But you gotta have it in the first place to make that profit. And it really doesn't matter that much what the product traded is.

I am aware that ARC represents a whole bunch of amazingly talented folks whose work is good enough that they do make a pretty good living despite the obstacles. I've heard, Graydon, that you do pretty well. In all seriousness, bravo. That kind of commercial success comes from the work and not the sales gimmicks. But million dollar paintings are either considered art-historically significant or the artist is on the hot list as a likely future art-historical star.

I've always found it interesting how difficult it is to predict who will be the future art stars... when you read contemporary accounts from 100 or 200 years ago, the prominent contemporary (for them) figures are often people no one ever heard from again. Art history develops out of the view that present culture has of itself, and it picks and chooses what IT thinks about the past, not what the past thought about itself. And we're all in that boat, eh?

Glad to be allowed in on the conversation.

Jeffery