the subject of the art is the price of the work


The Big Idea

What if I make the price the subject of my art?

I’ve been making typographic work for a long time. (See Roots on this site) Often based on quotes, by myself and others. But a wise quotation in a handmade style has become a cliché in itself. I wondered what would happen when I would make the price of the artwork the subject of my art. Normally the price is something that comes at the end, what if I put it at the start? Can something with an amount of money as the subject be a worthwhile piece of art? Can it be desirable in spite of that subject? Or does it help? Is the price I ask reasonable? Too high? Too low?

Making something that exists without electricity

I got the urge to create something tangible, something that exists outside of the screen or a hard drive. Pretty much all of my work of the last fourteen years has resulted in a digital file as the end product. And although that work mostly consists of many layers, the file itself is flat as a fritter.

What is the value of (my) art?

I was thinking about the value of an image today, and the value of the images I create specifically. It feels like that value has decreased. Pretty much everybody owns a phone with a decent to excellent camera built into it and has the capacity to put a never ending stream of images into the world. Then there are the ever growing options to filter those images, achieving something that, to the restless eye, looks pretty professional.

A few seconds time being looked at, before the thumb or index finger swipes to the next thing, that seems to be the fate of an artwork in the world of social media. This often results in artworks that are created in a hurry, variations on a theme, banged out quickly in a race to the bottom.

I want to try the other way: visual compositions that are put together with love, skill and attention to detail. Something to be looked at (beter) again and again. Something that uses the computer as a tool but is cut by hand, painted by hand. Something that deserves your attention. Something that would you want to show your appreciation by throwing a decent amount of money my way. Money I can use to pay my bills so I can continue to make good art instead of taking a job doing what someone else can easily do better.

Securities, bonds, treasuries

I’m fascinated by the way different cultures represent money. Money is essentially a social agreement. A piece of paper says it represents 100 Dollars, but the value of its material suggests it’s worth a lot less.

I try making something that is worth the asking price, so to say. The combined prices of the materials used don’t get to the sum, but to me the hours, thought, skill and love invested in designing, painting and cutting do justify it.