Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dollars and Sense

I was surprised when I sold a print of this picture. I was sure no one would ever buy it, but knowing this has never prevented me from doing what I’m moved to do.
While I’m on the subject of selling, the exhibition of pictures I had at Fanzorelli’s was a complete bust. I didn’t sell anything. It made me wonder about how many other artists have had a similar experience. I know William Blake did. It’s shocking to think that he actually rented space to show his work and no one bought a thing.
Back in the 70s, some of my paintings were in a group show in Toronto. At the opening, a woman took me aside and told me that I’d have to tone down my use of color if I wanted my paintings to “move.” She explained that people wanted art that fit in with their décor and my colors were far too bright. I can remember saying to her that when I buy a piece of art, I naturally assume it will fit into my environment. And if it doesn’t, who cares? Then again I’m not a House and Garden kind of person.
The interesting thing is that I actually sold the three painting to a man visiting from Greece. When I told him what the critic-at-large had said, he replied that he was looking forward to going back home because in Mediterranean countries they don’t make a point of painting everything beige.

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