Today I took a little trip up the highway to a frame shop where they also have stacks of Chinese paintings for sale. It makes me sad to see these paintings - most unsigned or signed with an American name like "Catherine" or "Patrick".
What makes me sad is that the artist in China is liking cranking these out for pennies - and then someone marks it up to $20 and exports it. Then the shop here or in Europe marks is up 4or 5 times and maybe ultimately a decorator puts it in a clients home and marks it up more.
The art market was and always had been notoriously unfair to the artist but this is shameful.
It's something we artists frequently lament - the seeming lack of fine art collectors and how to educate and reach new buyers. It's easy to find a decorative print at any big box store and perhaps that is comfortable because it has a certain level of mass approval and appeal. I think people are afraid they can't afford original fine art and that they may not get the "right" piece.
Just think - you could buy a beautiful mid sized original oil painting for what you'd spend on your new designer handbag. Maybe the handbag is more functional. But it won't last forever and it won't recall fond memories or make you smile each time you look at it. And it doesn't support the person who put their heart and soul into its production.
Better put my soapbox away now and go paint more. I am blessed to be doing what I love and not in sweatshop conditions.
(Ps - this post was created on my weebly iPhone app to test its function)
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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