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Bringing art to market: The diversity of pricing styles in a local art market

Authors
Journal
Poetics
0304-422X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
36
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.poetic.2007.12.002
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Abstract This paper examines the pricing of visual art from the perspective of artists themselves. Based on interviews with 53 visual artists, the most common factors involved in pricing decisions are identified: size, expenses, status, market factors, and the artist's own perception of value. Using Correspondence Analysis and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), relationships between the components of pricing decisions are described. First, the analysis reveals that some producers of art take a craft orientation to production and distribution, while others take a fine art approach. These distinct orientations shape pricing decisions. Second, pricing based on an artist's own determination of aesthetic worth tends not to be combined with pricing based on market factors like demand. While patterns of pricing decisions are uncovered, the complexities of actual pricing decisions demonstrate that working artists negotiate lives that blend instrumental economic activity with creative self-expression, belief in fairness, and community norms both inside and outside the art world.

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