30 August 2012

Another Charity Art Auction Request

Sorry folks. I don't donate my work to charity. I do donate money when it is a charity whose philosophy aligns with my own point of view and/or I feel does good work for society... but give them my artwork to auction off at a fraction of its market value - nope.

Most people who ask for art feel like it benefits the artist - you know, gets them "exposure." In reality, it hurts artists and galleries. When art sells cheaply at auctions - which is almost always the case for all but the most renown of artists - it devalues the art and the artist's name/brand and makes it harder for all artists to sell their work at a fair market value.

If the buyers can get the art at auction prices, why would they ever buy from artists/galleries at a fair price (definition - one that pays the artist a living wage)?

Did you know that  the IRS does not not let the artist take a deduction for the market value of the art donated? Artists cannot take a deduction for their labor either - only for the cost of the materials used in the piece... while mosaic materials can be quite expensive, the real cost for me is my labor. Some of the mosaics I've done have over 100 hours of work in them. Even if I only paid myself $10/hour the cost of the labor for any of those pieces would be well over $1,000.00... I doubt if anyone would cough that much up at an auction, let alone the higher rate I actually do pay myself.

I don't need to make my living off of my art so theoretically I could donate it without greatly harming myself - however I feel that making that kind of bad business decision does a great disservice to other professional artists, especially those who are trying to make their living off of their art.

And in the end that hurts all of us.

Others' thoughts:

Joanne Mattera

Mat Gleason

and Harlan Ellison (warning - profanity, indignation and a whole lot of emotion)

No comments: