Tuesday, April 7, 2009

OPINION: Donating to Art auctions - love 'em? hate 'em? depends on the cause?

This is in response to a question submitted by Marc Awodey and posted on April 6, 2009. Further responses will be posted as they are received.

by Paula McCullough

I'm in the 'auctions are okay if you have a passion for that cause' but personally I think it trains the public to devalue artists AND their works. Who else gets asked to donate their livelihood so consistently...practically expected to, and yet artists are usually the least financially stable of all!

I think art institutes especially deserve a slap on the wrist for asking artists to hand over the goods,  especially if they never exhibit that artists works in non-auction shows, its like saying your work isn't good enough for us to exhibit so give it away for free. Art Institutes also would have an artist believe that they will get more 'exposure' blah blah. I say do it for the right reason, if you have work you don't like and want to get rid
of I guess that's cool, I'd personally rather deconstruct or re-do something I'm not liking or wanting. Do artists ever donate something they cherish and love, their most expensive piece? Probably only the wealthiest of artists do or the rare saint. My point being look at what artists donate and that will tell you how they really feel about it.

That said, if auctions were to give the artist a 40-50% commission it would feel healthier. And I'm sure there are plenty of artists, art and groups that have great intentions and everyone is feeling the love.

above: "Evolution" by Paula McCullough