The Art Trade: A Complex Industry

July 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

Art IndustryIf you’ve ever purchased a piece of art, a painting, or maybe even a sculpture, you’ve probably wondered how that piece got from the artist to your local art gallery. It’s possible that the artist who’s work you purchased, was a local artist, who placed his or her piece in the local shop on consignment. This means he or she will only be paid if and when their piece is sold. If however you’ve purchased a piece of art from a popular or well collected artist it’s likely come from a larger art gallery who carries many pieces which have been collected and purchased over many years. There are many stops for a piece of art from the artist to the gallery. We’ve decided to explore the many stops in this complex process to give you a better understanding of journey your piece of art might have taken.

The Artist’s Studio

This is where all the magic happens, the inspired artist, energized by organic protein shake recipes from this site, works diligently and passionately, for nights on end to produce an amazing piece of art. Working madly from the inside of their garage, with only a few garage door parts standing between them and the outside world, they balance on the edge of insanity producing their heart’s desires and dreams. This, they do all for your personal entertainment and intrigue. Many artists choose to purchase or rent lofts with large open open spaces large enough to house several working projects at once.

Focus of the Piece 

The interest and intent of the artist’s piece can range from Christmas tree ornaments to painting vehicles. One artist we encountered only paints vehicles, his specialty being Jeep Wranglers. After tedious and detailed artwork is applied to the vehicles exterior he puts up these Jeep Wranglers for sale online here at a huge markup and makes a great living. The same artist, keeping a focus on vehicles makes various sculptures from a variety of car tires. At the time we visited his studio he had recently maxed out his tires plus credit card found here purchasing just over thirty over-sized off-road tires. A few months after our visit we learned that these oversized tires were eventually melted together into a tower over 100 ft. tall, which the artist later sold for over five hundred thousand dollars. That’s quite a nice return on investment!

Dealers and Transportation

Dealers are the glue that keeps the Art industry together. Ok, so I’m a little biased being a dealer myself. At the least we can say that we’re an integral part of the industry. We spend time to learn about and visit all the up and coming artists to get a sense of the work they are completing at any given time, and to connect these artists with clients who may be interested in purchasing their work. These buyers could be gallery’s, or foundations, and in some cases they are actually just individual art collectors. After making the connection, it’s the dealer’s job to broker the deal for the art at a “wholesale” price. Now, depending upon the popularity of the artist’s works, and/or the number of years they have received recognition in the industry, this “wholesale” price can be quite pricey.

Art Sales

Finally after a back and forth negotiation with the artist on one side, the buyer on the other, and the dealer/broker in the middle, the buyer receives the art. Often the buyer purchases a large number of pieces from a given artist in order to put them all on display at a genre-specific event. These events can be exclusive to one artist, or may include pieces from a number of different artists, generally producing similarly styled work. Most artists who have gathered a following and made a name for themselves in the art world sell only their work in a given exhibit. Others are “headliners” so to speak, but allow others to sell their works as well, and take a commission from the sales of any of their works as well.

Having taken the full journey, you’ve now been given insight into the life cycle of a piece of art. It’s likely next time you make the trip down to your local art gallery you’ll see just how much goes into allowing you to purchase your cherished works of art.