Transparent pricing in art? Is that even possible?
Establishing prices for contemporary art is a difficult proposition, especially when its your own. I have found that emotional attachment to particular works can lead to unrealistic expectations. To counter that, I have developed a protocol of assigning a points value to my work and multiplying it by what I call and “hourly rate” (though it has little if anything to do with the hours spent on each work).
Points are assigned for each of three different factors:
*Physical Size: 1 point per square foot (accounting for materials and physical movement).
* Ascending Color Elements: 1 point per (accounting for overall painting time and effort).
* Size of the Series: If the work is part of a series, 1 point for each work in the series, up to a max of 12 (accounting for the value that is added to individual works that are part of a series.)
Heres how it works for the “Beyond Symmetry” Series:
Each work is 24 x 30 (5 sq ft). Each has 11 Ascending color elements. The series size is 27.
So, add 5 points for the size, 11 for each Ascending Color element, and finally add the maximum 12 points for the size of series (even though the series has 27 works).
That adds up to 28 points.
That number is then multiplied by the “Hourly Rate”, which is currently set at $66.
(Why $66? It is a number that accurately represents the time and value I put into the works).
The result for the “Beyond Symmetry” series is 28 x $66 = $ 1, 848.00
Transparent! Obviously, this protocol can’t apply to every piece of my art work, nor can it apply to the work I produced back in the 1980’s. But it will hopefully give those acquiring my new paintings a sense of the value behind the number, and an idea of how well their investment is doing as that “hourly rate” increases over time.