People make a big fucking deal about art. They talk about provenance and historical relevance and cultural significance. Those things can certainly make a piece of art more interesting, but why does that make someone want to own something? There’s literally billions of dollars worth of famous art I wouldn’t even think about hanging on my wall. A piece of art might be important. It might have been the genesis of a new style. A famous artist may have made it. But if you don’t enjoy looking at, who gives a shit?
Well, museums do. Art historians do. The art-loving public does. Even I do, to an extent. I want to see important art. I want to see the works that launched new styles. I want to see the most famous and “important” works of art in the world. But that doesn’t mean I like them or think they’re good. That doesn’t mean I’d ever want to hang them on my wall and look at them all night.
That’s the interesting thing about art. There’s a market for just about everything, even art that looks like shit. It’s all about the story behind the art. With the right story, you can get people to buy anything. Or literally nothing:
I recently ran across Deborah Butterfield’s sculpture. She goes out and finds wood scraps, fashions them into horses, and then casts them in bronze. I think they look super cool:
A gallery that sells her work also documents how she builds these:
Why? The process behind the creation of the artwork makes it more interesting. It gives it context and scale.
Tell your story.