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Becoming an artist?
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Ice Offline
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Becoming an artist?
Have any of you thought about becoming an artist?

There is actually quite a lot of money to be made in art. It's not that unusual for paintings to be sold for 100'000 USD.

Of course, it's not easy to break into the art world and be successful in it. The art world has its own unwritten rules and customs. You have to be able to connect with gallerists and collectors, and set yourself apart from other artists. In some way, it's like building a brand. You have to come up with a signature aesthetic that is recognisable and certain "values" that you and your art stand for. Art is not only the product itself, but also the story behind it and what it signifies.

What are your thoughts on the art world?
05-30-2014 08:06 AM
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jamaicabound Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
I think deciding to be an artist is like decising to be a professional musician or athlete. For a small percentage they will get rich for the rest thhey will enjoy what they do but most likely be struggling. I think most true artists want to paint or scult or draw what they want but not many will make money doing that so to truly support yourself I think you'll be doing murals in peoples basements which you will probably hate. That's just my take, how many artists out there are actually selling paintings for 100k. I was down in Playa Del Carmen recently and they have those art nigts on like Mondays and Wednesdays I think it is. Some beautiful art selling for like $95. I bet most of that is canvas and paint, they are being paid nothing for the day or two they put into that painting
05-30-2014 10:08 AM
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Simeon_Strangelight Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 08:06 AM)Ice Wrote:  Have any of you thought about becoming an artist?

There is actually quite a lot of money to be made in art. It's not that unusual for paintings to be sold for 100'000 USD.

Of course, it's not easy to break into the art world and be successful in it. The art world has its own unwritten rules and customs. You have to be able to connect with gallerists and collectors, and set yourself apart from other artists. In some way, it's like building a brand. You have to come up with a signature aesthetic that is recognisable and certain "values" that you and your art stand for. Art is not only the product itself, but also the story behind it and what it signifies.

What are your thoughts on the art world?

Before having started in the corporate world for real I worked 6 months for an Art magazine that was supported by the state and visited many exhibitions and galleries and also met the real clients.

I also met quite a few struggling as well as successful artists.

As with all things in our world, art is a market with certain rules.

The likelihood of success that you can actually live well off - not talking about millions of $ here - just survive making 50.000$ or more is minimal.

Tips:

- You have to be extremely talented and be passionate about it working non-stop

- you have to have found a unique style

- Being well-connected helps, being Jewish helps too, being Chinese helps nowadays

- Nationality is relevant - in some countries the rich have an inferiority complex and are not buying their own up- and coming artists - if you are born there, your chances of success fall tremendously - you would have to move somewhere else to succeed

- there are currently certain countries which are on the upswing and buy Art from artists from their own countries or at least from their heritage - i.e. American born Asian with Chinese heritage and language skills

- it is helpful to create a certain kind of artistic persona and personality about yourself - have pink hair, dress and talk weird - many artists suceed without it, but quite a few create themselves into some kind of surreal artist personality - you are more marketable then

- get into contact with foundations, big gallery owners, art critics and rich art collectors via smart networking - those are the people you have to impress - sometimes it is enough to have the support of one person within those 4

- some artists became masters of self-promotion for example painters doing scandalous performance art - one girl I met did a masturbation performance art in front of the mayor and other dignitaries. She later started to sell her paintings quite well.


While you may make it otherwise, the small likelihood of success is even more diminished if you do not adhere to the above mentioned rules. Art is just a business and even sticking to all the rules and being an highly creative extremely talented person is not even close a guarantee for success. On the other hand you should definitely try and be one, but also consider planning ahead if it does not work out.

Have a STEM degree or international accounting/finance degree in addition to that. A good trade is nowadays a valid career option too, since more and more jobs will be disappearing. Or be financially independent via some kind of business.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2014 10:18 AM by Simeon_Strangelight.)
05-30-2014 10:14 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 10:08 AM)jamaicabound Wrote:  I think deciding to be an artist is like decising to be a professional musician or athlete. For a small percentage they will get rich for the rest thhey will enjoy what they do but most likely be struggling. I think most true artists want to paint or scult or draw what they want but not many will make money doing that so to truly support yourself I think you'll be doing murals in peoples basements which you will probably hate. That's just my take, how many artists out there are actually selling paintings for 100k. I was down in Playa Del Carmen recently and they have those art nigts on like Mondays and Wednesdays I think it is. Some beautiful art selling for like $95. I bet most of that is canvas and paint, they are being paid nothing for the day or two they put into that painting

Yeah true, only very few people can make decent money with art. But in principle it's not really much different from starting a blog or publishing ebooks. Only a handful of people, too, make good money with those endeavours.

You mentioned musicians or athletes. Yeah in some way it's a fitting analogy, but only to a certain extent. With music you have to appeal to the masses, while with art you have to appeal to a small elite of gallerists, critics and collectors - so it's a different target market. Also, art can't be quantified like athletics.

In my opinion, art really comes down to marketing and branding. It really doesn't matter at all whether art is "beautiful" or not - that is not a relevant criterion in the art market. So I think if you want to make money with art, your skill doesn't need to be in painting or drawing or whatever, but rather in selling - coming up with a good angle for why your art should be relevant in the art market.
05-30-2014 10:28 AM
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Simeon_Strangelight Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 10:28 AM)Ice Wrote:  Yeah true, only very few people can make decent money with art. But in principle it's not really much different from starting a blog or publishing ebooks. Only a handful of people, too, make good money with those endeavours.

You mentioned musicians or athletes. Yeah in some way it's a fitting analogy, but only to a certain extent. With music you have to appeal to the masses, while with art you have to appeal to a small elite of gallerists, critics and collectors - so it's a different target market. Also, art can't be quantified like athletics.

In my opinion, art really comes down to marketing and branding. It really doesn't matter at all whether art is "beautiful" or not - that is not a relevant criterion in the art market. So I think if you want to make money with art, your skill doesn't need to be in painting or drawing or whatever, but rather in selling - coming up with a good angle for why your art should be relevant in the art market.

Sports is highly connected to your quantifiable abilities - if you are born like Leo Messi, you simply must not fuck it up and work more or less hard.

Music business is a greater scam - it would seem like you would have to appeal to the masses, but the way nowadays goes through the big shakers and they create stars who have 5% of the talent, abilities and looks of other singers, while some of the real superstars never get promoted and sing at bars at best.

The art market appeals to their consumers, which are the world's elite or at least some of the more affluent of society. A well-off person has no problem spending 20.000$-100.000$ on a painting of an upcoming artist who has been praised by a critic or notable gallery owner. That painting will likely not lose value or might even appreciate. But the very same client will bitch about spending 500$ on an unknown artist who created a painting that he may even love, but whose art may remain worthless forever.
05-30-2014 10:37 AM
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LaCobra Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
Becoming a working artist depends on two things, having connections, and being good at the field of work you choose.

The decision of becoming an artist should be more about the art than making money, because you wont be making money right away.

I´ve been doing black and white photography for 15 years, doing whatever work i could to support it at first, then making just enough money from it to buy materials, and right now i´m starting to have a little surplus.

Why im having surplus? Because i go to every opening night, i go to every lecture i can, i stay in touch with the artists and the gallery owners, i send copious amounts of presents to the Secretary of Culture, and every now and then i give free workshops on traditional photography.

So right now my work is more about the people, than actual darkroom work.

Do i like kissing asses of that phony scum? No, but my passion for photography is that strong.
05-30-2014 10:38 AM
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ddjembe mutombo Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
While it isn't the art of painting and sculpting, I used to be a musician that had a schedule full of studio time and 300-700 capacity venue shows. Revenue in the music industry definitely translates into profit differently than the traditional art industry, but many knowns of generating income still apply. I know coordinate the international movement of explosives to pay my bills, and I moonlight as a music producer and engineer. These are what I have learned through my experiences:

1) Success is no longer about talent. I all comes down to who you know and how marketable your work is.
2) It is more probable to make a living being a professional athlete than being full time in any of the arts combined.
3) Due to the current drought of income, everyone will do anything to take your money and run (I had multiple promoters pay with a twenty rolled around a bunch of $1's and run like we were Ray Charles).
4) If you are talented, many people will want to work with you. However, only ink a contract with someone who will actually increase your exposure. There are plenty of people who will try to piggy back off of your current success to kick-start theirs.

I had plenty of friends in university that graduated with art degrees (most painting or sculpting). They are now all bar tending or making incredibly difficult coffee drinks for entitled sluts. Plenty of younger kids think they can just work a service job for a few months until they "make it", but they fail to realize that they will be working the about same amount of hours as a corporate job along with less pay and no benefits. Make the smart decision and take what is certain. Work towards a 9-5 and you can always leave it if you actually do "make it".
05-30-2014 10:43 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 10:14 AM)Zelcorpion Wrote:  
(05-30-2014 08:06 AM)Ice Wrote:  

Before having started in the corporate world for real I worked 6 months for an Art magazine that was supported by the state and visited many exhibitions and galleries and also met the real clients.

I also met quite a few struggling as well as successful artists.

As with all things in our world, art is a market with certain rules.

The likelihood of success that you can actually live well off - not talking about millions of $ here - just survive making 50.000$ or more is minimal.

Tips:

- You have to be extremely talented and be passionate about it working non-stop

- you have to have found a unique style

- Being well-connected helps, being Jewish helps too, being Chinese helps nowadays

- Nationality is relevant - in some countries the rich have an inferiority complex and are not buying their own up- and coming artists - if you are born there, your chances of success fall tremendously - you would have to move somewhere else to succeed

- there are currently certain countries which are on the upswing and buy Art from artists from their own countries or at least from their heritage - i.e. American born Asian with Chinese heritage and language skills

- it is helpful to create a certain kind of artistic persona and personality about yourself - have pink hair, dress and talk weird - many artists suceed without it, but quite a few create themselves into some kind of surreal artist personality - you are more marketable then

- get into contact with foundations, big gallery owners, art critics and rich art collectors via smart networking - those are the people you have to impress - sometimes it is enough to have the support of one person within those 4

- some artists became masters of self-promotion for example painters doing scandalous performance art - one girl I met did a masturbation performance art in front of the mayor and other dignitaries. She later started to sell her paintings quite well.


While you may make it otherwise, the small likelihood of success is even more diminished if you do not adhere to the above mentioned rules. Art is just a business and even sticking to all the rules and being an highly creative extremely talented person is not even close a guarantee for success. On the other hand you should definitely try and be one, but also consider planning ahead if it does not work out.

Have a STEM degree or international accounting/finance degree in addition to that. A good trade is nowadays a valid career option too, since more and more jobs will be disappearing. Or be financially independent via some kind of business.

Hey Zelcorpion,

thanks a lot for the info!

(05-30-2014 10:14 AM)Zelcorpion Wrote:  quite a few create themselves into some kind of surreal artist personality

I'd love to do that lol.

But yeah, I work in a different field, but I've always been into art and want to focus more on it on the side in the nearer future. I actually like both, the art aspect and the sales / marketing / branding aspect. In my current career I kind of made a name for myself and have been featured in magazines etc. quite often, so the whole process of selling myself as a character comes quite naturally to me. For my art endeavours I will be using a pen name though.

I most definitely won't rely on art to pay my bills in the nearer future, tho.
05-30-2014 10:50 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 10:43 AM)ddjembe mutombo Wrote:  I had plenty of friends in university that graduated with art degrees (most painting or sculpting). They are now all bar tending or making incredibly difficult coffee drinks for entitled sluts. Plenty of younger kids think they can just work a service job for a few months until they "make it", but they fail to realize that they will be working the about same amount of hours as a corporate job along with less pay and no benefits. Make the smart decision and take what is certain. Work towards a 9-5 and you can always leave it if you actually do "make it".

Hey ddjembe mutombo,

thanks a lot for the advice.

Yes, that's exactly why I didn't study painting or sculpting or something in that vein. I have to support myself, and it's better to do that with an ok- or well-paying 9-5 than with a menial job. The working hours will be about the same anyway.

So at the moment I am absolutely seeing art as something that I will be doing on the side.
05-30-2014 11:02 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 10:38 AM)LaCobra Wrote:  Why im having surplus? Because i go to every opening night, i go to every lecture i can, i stay in touch with the artists and the gallery owners, i send copious amounts of presents to the Secretary of Culture, and every now and then i give free workshops on traditional photography.

So right now my work is more about the people, than actual darkroom work.

Do i like kissing asses of that phony scum? No, but my passion for photography is that strong.

Yeah absolutely, going to openings and connecting with people, networking, is definitely very important. But I don't see it as ass kissing - it's just connecting with people that share a similar interest. I mean, you have to do that in every business.
05-30-2014 11:08 AM
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LaCobra Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 11:08 AM)Ice Wrote:  
(05-30-2014 10:38 AM)LaCobra Wrote:  Why im having surplus? Because i go to every opening night, i go to every lecture i can, i stay in touch with the artists and the gallery owners, i send copious amounts of presents to the Secretary of Culture, and every now and then i give free workshops on traditional photography.

So right now my work is more about the people, than actual darkroom work.

Do i like kissing asses of that phony scum? No, but my passion for photography is that strong.

Yeah absolutely, going to openings and connecting with people, networking, is definitely very important. But I don't see it as ass kissing - it's just connecting with people that share a similar interest. I mean, you have to do that in every business.

Yeah, you are right, i´ve definitively found some people that share my view.
05-30-2014 12:41 PM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
That painting hat goes for 10K takes months to create. Some painters maybe push three paintings a year while devoting a large percentage of time to it while having to after art shows an other stuff to promote. When you crunch the numbers they don't make all that much cash versus people in the rat race.

Much of that time is is relaxing and agonizing as a artist has to fight a lot of battles with themselves in creating something. Art today is being devalued (or inflated depending how you look at it) by people viewing it as only a "skill" that can be taught and learned. You can learn any basics of any skill but becoming a master at that takes a lot of practice and a natural talent with it also.

You might have a better ear for music, neglect it, go to be a painter and bomb out.

All things to remember.
05-30-2014 12:57 PM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 12:57 PM)kosko Wrote:  That painting hat goes for 10K takes months to create. Some painters maybe push three paintings a year while devoting a large percentage of time to it while having to after art shows an other stuff to promote. When you crunch the numbers they don't make all that much cash versus people in the rat race.

Much of that time is is relaxing and agonizing as a artist has to fight a lot of battles with themselves in creating something. Art today is being devalued (or inflated depending how you look at it) by people viewing it as only a "skill" that can be taught and learned. You can learn any basics of any skill but becoming a master at that takes a lot of practice and a natural talent with it also.

You might have a better ear for music, neglect it, go to be a painter and bomb out.

All things to remember.

Dan Colen spraypaint painting:

sold for: 341,000 USD

expenditure of time: 30 sec.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecat...lot.1.html

Edit: I'm actually not sure if the painting is really made with spraypaint or if Dan Colen actually used a brush and made it look as if it was spray paint. But either way, there wasn't much time devoted to that painting.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2014 02:21 PM by Ice.)
05-30-2014 02:07 PM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 12:57 PM)kosko Wrote:  That painting hat goes for 10K takes months to create. Some painters maybe push three paintings a year while devoting a large percentage of time to it while having to after art shows an other stuff to promote. When you crunch the numbers they don't make all that much cash versus people in the rat race.

That's not true at all. There is absolutely no correlation between the time devoted to an artwork and the price it sells for.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2014 02:11 PM by Ice.)
05-30-2014 02:10 PM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
The simple Graff looks basic as hell but the important question is... *drum roll*...

Were you witty enough in 2006 to think of that peice?

The artist was, and it's a skill or talent that got him to the point of making that.

That's my main point.

People are just talking dollar signs. It's true you can fart something out in 10 mins and make a killing but the hustle is way more complex then just that. You have to reach a level where you could push something out so quickly to begin with.

That's learned and earned.
05-31-2014 04:08 AM
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Simeon_Strangelight Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-30-2014 02:07 PM)Ice Wrote:  Dan Colen spraypaint painting:

sold for: 341,000 USD

expenditure of time: 30 sec.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecat...lot.1.html

Edit: I'm actually not sure if the painting is really made with spraypaint or if Dan Colen actually used a brush and made it look as if it was spray paint. But either way, there wasn't much time devoted to that painting.

Dan Colen = Jewish +

Father = Sy Colen - famous artist himself

He also graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design which has excellent conacts with curators, designers, artists, collectors etc.


So Dan Colen is Jewish and well connected and yes he is also quite talented and has done highly creative unique things:

Also Dan Colen is fun, highly self-promoting, talks and acts like an Alpha and is the center of every NY "artsy" party.

For every one succeeding you have 1000-10.000+ failing

[attachment=18975]
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2014 06:22 AM by Simeon_Strangelight.)
05-31-2014 06:18 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-31-2014 04:08 AM)kosko Wrote:  The simple Graff looks basic as hell but the important question is... *drum roll*...

Were you witty enough in 2006 to think of that peice?

The artist was, and it's a skill or talent that got him to the point of making that.

That's my main point.

People are just talking dollar signs. It's true you can fart something out in 10 mins and make a killing but the hustle is way more complex then just that. You have to reach a level where you could push something out so quickly to begin with.

That's learned and earned.

Yeah definitely, I agree, it might not have taken that much time to make that piece, but the whole process to build a reputation and get to that point where you can sell art for that type of money is definitely a long and complex process. There is no doubt about that.
05-31-2014 07:14 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-31-2014 06:18 AM)Zelcorpion Wrote:  
(05-30-2014 02:07 PM)Ice Wrote:  Dan Colen spraypaint painting:

sold for: 341,000 USD

expenditure of time: 30 sec.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecat...lot.1.html

Edit: I'm actually not sure if the painting is really made with spraypaint or if Dan Colen actually used a brush and made it look as if it was spray paint. But either way, there wasn't much time devoted to that painting.

Dan Colen = Jewish +

Father = Sy Colen - famous artist himself

He also graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design which has excellent conacts with curators, designers, artists, collectors etc.

So Dan Colen is Jewish and well connected and yes he is also quite talented and has done highly creative unique things:

Also Dan Colen is fun, highly self-promoting, talks and acts like an Alpha and is the center of every NY "artsy" party.

For every one succeeding you have 1000-10.000+ failing

Hey thanks for the info, didn't know that his father is actually a famous artist himself.

Why do you think being Jewish plays such a big role, though?

But yeah, it's definitely true what you're saying, Dan Colen is definitely doing a lot of things right.
05-31-2014 07:32 AM
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Simeon_Strangelight Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-31-2014 07:32 AM)Ice Wrote:  Hey thanks for the info, didn't know that his father is actually a famous artist himself.

Why do you think being Jewish plays such a big role, though?

But yeah, it's definitely true what you're saying, Dan Colen is definitely doing a lot of things right.

As far as the art market is concerned it is simple: many are disproportionally rich and they like to support each other, if there is talent there.

I know quite a few young artists who have gone through "Holocoust" stages, where they did a lot of paintings themed specifically to that market. It certainly helped their cause.

The Chinese are similar and they are getting richer by the hour. That is why being a talented artist with Chinese roots is a plus nowadays.

German & Austrian collectors also like to support their young artists by buying their paintings while they are priced at 5.0000-10.000$ and are just getting famous.

The rich in EE & Russia only spend money on already famous or dead artists of their nationality. The young ones have to make a name for themselves in the West first, despite massive money available in those parts. It is some sort of inferiority complex and lack of "prestige" for the wealthy to buy a piece of art that is not fetching top-dollar prices at Sotheby's yet.

Being Jewish just extends your buying appeal to the whole world, since your nationality matters less then.
05-31-2014 08:46 AM
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Ice Offline
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RE: Becoming an artist?
(05-31-2014 08:46 AM)Zelcorpion Wrote:  
(05-31-2014 07:32 AM)Ice Wrote:  

As far as the art market is concerned it is simple: many are disproportionally rich and they like to support each other, if there is talent there.

I know quite a few young artists who have gone through "Holocoust" stages, where they did a lot of paintings themed specifically to that market. It certainly helped their cause.

The Chinese are similar and they are getting richer by the hour. That is why being a talented aratist with Chinese roots is a plus nowadays.

German & Austrian collectors also like to support their young artists by buying their paintings while they are priced at 5.0000-10.000$ and are just getting famous.

The rich in EE & Russia only spend money on already famous or dead artists of their nationality. The young ones have to make a name for themselves in the West first, despite massive money available in those parts. It is some sort of inferiority complex and lack of "prestige" for the wealthy to buy a piece of art that is not fetching top-dollar prices at Sotheby's yet.

Being Jewish just extends your buying appeal to the whole world, since your nationality matters less then.

Interesting.

I'm neither Jewish nor Chinese - damn ..
05-31-2014 09:26 AM
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