December 16, 2010
Should original art belong only to the wealthy? I don’t think so. One good reason is that there aren’t very many of them and a lot of us artists are producing quantities of art. And there isn’t much incentive for us to go on making art if all we are doing with it is filling up all available storage space in our houses.
My storage space for paintings in the basement is about to run out. I give a couple paintings to charity auctions each year. I occasionally sell a few. All five sons and daughters have my art in their homes. But they say they are the only ones in their circle of friends who have original art on their walls.
You’ve probably seen the story in the newspaper recently about the electrician who claimed the paintings supposedly by Picasso in his possession were gifts from the artist’s family whom he worked for over a period of time. I’ve read other stories of famous artists early in their careers who gave paintings as payment for cafe bills. The point is that in these ways original art came into the hands of ordinary people who would never have owned it otherwise. And they may have enjoyed it as much as those who bought art from a gallery.
While I’ll never be famous, I’ve noticed that some people who would never buy my art seem to really like it. And if I expecially appreciate the work that they do, I have occasionally shown that appreciation with the gift of a painting. The person feels happy and valued and I have a blank space on my basement wall where I can hang another painting.