Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pricing Art- Andreas Gursky's "Rhein II" Sells For $4.3 million

German photographer Andreas Gursky, born in 1955, garners millions for his work.  He received $2.4 million for  "99 Cent",   a digitally maniplated photograph of a 99 cent discount store.  And his Rhein 11 (see above), created in 1999, was recently auctioned off at Christie's for a whopping  $4,338,500. Also digitally manipulated, it now holds the record for the highest selling photograph in history.  Granted it's huge, at 73 x 143in , and mounted on Plexiglas (as are most of his works) but many seem to think it falls into the "I could have done that" category.

So what makes someone's artwork worth millions while others struggle to sell for a paltry sum? That's a question most artists struggle with on a daily basis.  For those of us who sell on sites like Etsy, Artfire and the myriad of other websites out there, trying to stay competitive influences how much we sell our product for.  When you have photographers selling their 8 x10 prints for under $20.00,  prices have to be adjusted if one wants to sell.  But most people have no clue how to price their work,  and seem to be happy simply breaking even.  They fail to realize that when it comes to 'art' not only do you have to factor in your costs (and there are plenty) you have to take into the account the actual value of the work.  That, of course, is subjective, but if don't value our own work, you can't expect anyone else to.

With everything in life, you rise to the level of your feelings of self worth.  Gursky obviously felt his work had value, and that's why it now sells for millions.

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