A guy came into the store today and told me about the gallery he’s opening. So far they only have one artist, some guy from New Jersey. His plan is to only feature top dollar art, with the cheapest pieces starting at around $1000. He’s not a local, and based on what he told me it doesn’t sound like he has much interest in featuring local artists. Except those that his investors are sure can guarantee that type of a pricetag.

We got to talking about the local art scene and the economy. My theory is that when the economy is down the art community suffers the most. Your average Joe has less money, so they buy less art. Your artists then have less money, so they buy less supplies, or get them off the internet at the cheapest price they can find. The whole community takes a hit.

He said that while this may be true for those at the bottom, the opposite is true for those up top. It’s hard to not see his point. The Scream just became the most expensive painting in history. Sotheby’s is having record sales when it comes to artwork. Collectors are paying top dollar for relative unknowns, hoping that they’ll become the next big thing. The art of the 1% is alive and well, whereas the overwhelming majority of art lovers have been priced out of the marketplace and can’t afford to buy any of the art they love. This means the overwhelming majority of artists are dirt poor. The small minority on top are making record profits, while the rest of us are barely making ends meet. Sound familiar?

So this hatched a concept in my brain. It should be possible for ALL art lovers, regardless of their financial status, to be able to own original works of art. Not cheapo prints or thrift store wall furniture, but original high quality pieces by up-and-coming artists.

Every revolution has to start somewhere, so here’s my attempt to get the ball rolling: Send me an email and I’ll give you my mailing address. Then send me anything two-dimensional (paper, unstretched canvas, cardboard, vellum, plastic, whatever) and a check for enough to cover return postage, and I will create an original work of art at no charge and mail it back to you. You can give me specific ideas of what you want, or just give me free rein. If you want to enclose a small donation feel free, but it’s not required. Just cover postage so I’m not losing too much money on this experiment, and you will have your own original piece of art.

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or get in touch with me here, and spread the word. Viva Free Art! Long Live The 99%!

 

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