Should We List Prices With Art Reviews?

Comments

1
Nah. Some of the stuff I bought for $10 is worth tens of thousands now, since the artist became famous.

And some stuff that people "value" at millions is .. drek.
2
I think it increases the value of the journalism as it delivers more relevant information useful to (at least some) readers. If nothing else, we (the readers, art gallery visitors, and sometimes purchasers) gain the value of developing reference prices the more accustomed we become to having pricing information available. I would prefer that the information not distract from the narrative of the gallery review, so if it is easy to include things like pricing information in aside, links, mouseover text, or some other kind of metadata or something like that, that might be preferred.
3
Sure. When I saw Cy Twombly's tube (almost bumped it over) at a Chelsea gallery years ago, and then saw the price ($2M+), I have since become fascinated with Twombly, or at least the narrative that has elevated his work to such extremes. The artworld is after all at least as much about money and egos as it is about objects or theory.

http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2001/twom…
4
Um, setting aside weird things like the global art market and philosophical discomfort with valuation of art, I would call your attention to this:

Artists need to eat.

Especially in your local beat, as it were, noting prices could actually help artists sell more pieces. Most of your readers are probably not in galleries often and may not have any idea what art costs. If I saw something striking in one of your Slog posts and saw that it was $300, I might be interested. And I'm going to see your Slog posts far more often than I'm going to get to a gallery.

I wouldn't advocate for printing a price for every piece you show. But when you talk about a particular show, mentioning a general price range might be a good idea.

We pay for great music by great bands and great books by great authors. But for those things, it's trivial to find out prices instantly and moreover we all have a pretty good idea for what they'll cost. But when I see art in the Stranger I literally have no clue if it's $500 or $50,000, and it's not easy to find out.

Help artists eat. Don't be bashful.
5
My favorite part of art is seeing how much wealth/value an artist can create out of a few dollars worth of raw materials (paint, canvas) and some time/talent.
6
The most powerful reason to list the price is precisely because of the stigma you mentioned... that art is mostly seen as something you look at in a fancy museum or a pretentious gallery, *not* something you own. If everyone listed prices, more people might get the *idea* that art is something you can actually buy! Startups like "getartup.com" and "thezibit.com" might also help change this attitude.
7
price is relevant when price is interesting. Like; oh the city paid 200 grand for those 5 bronze salmon. Or this local boy made good by selling however many pieces in this bluechip price range. [I wish there was much more of this kind of writing; the lack thereof makes me suspect]
But including prices on things to "feed artists" as the earlier commenter pointed out is just some kind of advertising; I generally hate advertising.
8
Artists may need to eat but they do not need to eat by selling art. There are other things to do and most artists do them in order to eat.
9
Educating us on the existence of money can only be good.
10
@WiS for the "Self-aggrandizing bullshit post of the day" award.
11
Girl, girl, get that cash
If it's 9 to 5 or shakin' your ass
Ain't no shame, ladies do your thing
Just make sure you ahead of the game ~Missy Elliot
12
The game of the "art world" is all about commodities. Anyone denying that is under some illusion.

There is a an actual world of great art (and bad) and aesthetic experiences that don't get commodified or mixed with the galleries, egos, and personalities with the art world. Those experiences can be written about freely and there is plenty of insight from outside the art world. Narratives are there, ideas are there, but the ego and the $ are not part of the foundation.

In order to be a professional artist or critic, you must play the commodities game, which is something you do, perhaps not as openly as you admit. It's about making money and playing art at the same time. Don't be dishonest about it. Embrace it and tell everyone about the price tags and the egos behind them- the artists, the galleries, the typical buyers. Don't be so coy. Or continue to, but know you are doing it. It's a big commercial - shit is for sale. Everyone is in it for the money as much as any other part.
13
@sarah70- I think most artists would prefer that weren't the case.

I have wondered about prices in previous posts and would love to view the art with that element added. It's good to know what artists and galleries are asking. Sometimes it's baffling. I do feel that pricing art is a game. A game I have pondered a lot and still remain unsure of. If I had to guess- there are probably as many levels to it as there are artists. It's always of interest, though.

Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise, when you realize there is art that you admire that is affordable. I do wonder how much impact a slog post about some affordable art might have. Would they sell a couple? A dozen? More? Get picked up by a gallery? Double their prices?
14
I would think if it's relevant to the story, like "painting found in attic... " or "sudden surge in interest in a particular artist," then yes. Otherwise, we have all the information we need, what gallery they're shown in, their website, etc., to find out ourselves. Personally, I'm more interested in your reaction to the art, what's in your head. I don't really care if it's worth $5 or $50,000.