Art Price Inflation At Chango

The current art exhibition at Chango is by a (presumably)local photographer. There are about 30 or so photographs and a couple of enlarged cartoons on display and for sale.

Without yet commenting on the quality of the pieces, I will say that the prices for this art are absolutely insane. We are talking $500 bucks or so for a moderately large print of a photo.

And I have to call it on this one…why? I mean I could understand if the photos were done by a big name, or were somehow unique(ie. “mint condition World War II photos discovered in my uncle’s attic”), but these are not.

None of them are any more amazing than what you can easily find on Flickr. There is nothing technically or conceptually or evocatively exceptional about them. I am not saying that they are bad, but they are average.

Also, none of them are framed. If the photos are truly that valuable, one would think that they would be framed so that at the very least the bottom edges are not curling under or so that they don’t need to be affixed directly to a painted or brick wall, like they are.

Add to that, there is nothig spectacular about the prints themselves. In an era where you can get photos printed on canvas online, I would expect something more.

But yeah, the prices are just too high. I mean if someone offered me a choice of either five hundred dollar bills or one of these prints that are being sold for $500, I would take the 5 hundreds every time. Trip to Peru or one of these prints? Trip to Peru. Gas for two months or one of these prints? Gas. See what I am saying? Substitution effect in action.

And let’s say the average price of one of these is $300(going conservative here) and there are 30 there – that is nearly 10 grand on the wall. Wouldn’t there be more security? One could easily lift them and carry them out with no one the wiser.

While some months the art at Chango is outstanding and deserves the high price tag it commands(and receives), other months I get the vibe that someone said to themselves: “Yeah man, you should see how much art sells for these days – make a print of a photo, and BOOM, five hundred smackers”.

Apparently the public agrees with me. Not a single one of these photos has sold. Again, not to be mean – but if these are going to sell the price needs to come down to the two digits.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation