Saturday, January 9, 2010

Words and Pictures

The old saying goes,"A picture is worth a thousand words." How do you compare the value of words with the value of pictures?

A short time ago I bought myself a painting. For several reasons. First, it speaks to me; it has a sense about it that connects the two of us, my self and the painting. That sense is intrinsic and has little to do with the artist. I don't know her, have never met her. Second, after loooking at it on the gallery wall several times, then taking some time to inspect it closely I felt something intimate towards it, a need to take it home and live with it. Third, the price was right, something I could afford.

And that brings me to the question currently on my mind. How do artists put a price on their work? Materials + labour + time and then what about the idea, the craft, research - whether specific for this or just general to the work? Is there a measure of self-valuation, of other-valuation?

"A picture is worth a thousand words." Could I sell a thousand words on the open market and make enough to buy the picture? As an article, a review, or should it, too, be artistic: a short story, a long poem, a series or collection of poems? Does it matter if I collect the poems in a book, sell a number of copies of the book to purchase an uncopied painting?

No, let the questions chase themselves.

Because of intangible and incalculable things about the painting, I was willing to pay the price asked. It had nothing to do (for me) with "worth." Similarly when I sell my poetry, I hope it goes to someone who has a special appreciation for the poems no matter what I put into them.

And then we cut our creations loose to exist without us, in someone else's care.

1 comment:

Ellenelizabeth Cernek - Kashk said...

"And then we cut our creations loose to exist without us, in someone else's care"

Words that inspire.