Why Not Paintings Too?

Look around where you are now. Are there books (mass marketed writings)?. Are there recordings (mass marketed music)?. Are there dvd’s (mass marketed movies)? Are there exact copies of paintings and drawings? Probably not. But why not?

We can now make copies of most paintings that are exact replicas. So why not mass market art like books, music, and movies? I’ve talked about this a lot in my zine Musea. I’d like to see us artists hold on to the original art and sell copies.

A few months ago I was at the Fair Park Flea Market here in Dallas, and I was talking to a sometimes dealer, Steve Beasley. We were looking at a table of books for sale. He mentioned that his real job was making art copies. [Check out his work at Beasley’s Fine Art Photo]. I told him about my idea of mass marketing artworks, and I told him the real test is this:

Line up 4 copies and the original on the wall. Have people try to pick the original. If they can’t then the reproduction is exact enough.

He said, much to my amazement, that’s what he does. And short of looking at the sides of the copies (the copies are often stretched around the frame and have some of the painting on the sides. An original usually does not) people cannot tell the difference.

Think of what this can do. Museums could trade copies, or put them on trucks and take them to every town in the country – and every school; or they could be sold and the artist gets a percentage of every sale like authors, and musicians and filmmakers do now.

Think about it. We celebrate writers, musicians, and actors, but painters? Not so much. Not because their work is any less important, but because their work is less accessible. Time for a revolution in the arts! – Art S Revolutionary.


Update:  Someone responded that they, art copies, don’t sell well. My follow up is this: How much are you selling them for? For ex. a color copy here is 50 cents. Gliclees made one at a time are pricey, but if we could get to 100 copies of a painting, then the price would be down to 20-30 dollars – the same as a hardback, or a cheap seat at a concert, or a movie with snacks.


Update: Part of the new art – opposed to what modern art has become – called Postmod or No-ism; is mass production of art. Why not any museum, and certainly any cash strapped ones, instead of storing their paintings out of sight, or selling them for needed cash, COPY them. Make high quality gliclees of their paintings and sell them like musicians sell records, or writers sell books or film studios sell DVD’s of films. . Gets the museum much needed funds, shows the world, the paintings stored in the vaults, and brings art out of the ivory tower and back into the world where it belongs.

See also this post,
Box of Art (Why Mass Market Paintings, Part 2)


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