August Blog

The upside’s been a bit peculiar. Not bad, just peculiar. I may have ranted on about prices in the  Fine Art world, here and elsewhere. I say “may have”. I know damn well I have. Well, a mate of mine, a painter, told me of a new gallery quite close to where I live. So I sent the owner some photos of my paintings and a brief cv. Three weeks, no reply. Full of righteous indignation, we drove out to this new gallery – very nice – smoked glass, stainless steel, good stuff on the walls. And the owner was there. And he was reading my folder. Introductions over, he proceeded to remove the carpet from under me, saying he liked what he saw and could he see the paintings in the flesh asap. The following day we carted over 25 canvases of various size and Mr Galleryowner is going to show 23 of them. I was – still am – staggered. I’ve always painted, on and off down the years. Its a lot harder than cartooning and I’ve never had the nerve to offer it for public view. Until now. Anyway,
I got a lesson in pricing, too. He asked me what I expected to get per painting and laughed out loud at my estimate. Way too low. It turns out, according to him that the prices I suggested, though low, wouldn’t attract anybody because recessional conditions mean that somebody who might once have been able to afford say, £500 for a painting, cannot now afford it, so work is hoiked up to the next level and is aimed at richer folk.

So there’s a moral dilemma here I think. I honestly do not think that a painting of mine which I value at £500 is worth four times as much, even given the gallery’s cut. But at 67 and never been kissed in terms of having an exhibition in what is a very nice space, I would like to see my work on the walls. Might be the last chance I get. And I was reminded by Sheila that in the unlikely event that any sold, Mr Taxman would get a substantial slice. And I’m scared silly of the Taxman. Its a lot easier for Revenue and Customs to go after one-man-bands than it is for them to collar huge companies which can afford tax-avoidance lawyers. But its not happened yet. The Gallery might suddenly burn down. Or something. But rest assured, if it DOES happen, I’ll bore you to tears with the details.

In the meantime of course, all of this is put in its insignificant place by the monstrous actions of a right wing Norweigan extremist who believes that he is right; that what he did is justifiable. Much in the same way US drones blow up innocent civilians ? Discuss.

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