Assumption: Art becomes more valuable once an artist dies.
Actuality: Prices escalate only when demand is greater than supply. Prices can increase if there was a shortage of the artist's work prior to his or her death and if the demand continues to be significantly greater than supply. Art News (November 2003) presented an article on the ten most wanted artworks. These would sell individually for more than $5 Million IF the present owners would let me them go. However, as the collectors know they could not acquire a replacement painting/sculpture/drawing, they won't be selling these artworks.
Assumption: An artist's proof is more valuable than a print from the regular edition.
Actuality: Artist's proofs are routinely consistent with the regular edition in appearance and value. On rare occasions, a color trial proof be judged to be more valuable than the regular edition or an artist's proof. this happens when the reigning experts determine the color trial proof represents a more handsome product than the regular edition or artist's proof.
Assumption: It's just a print.
Actuality: Some artist's do or do not choose to paint. Their art "translates" more successfully using an original print medium such as lithography, etching, serigraphy, or woodcuts. Some original prints have sold for more than $100,000 when done by prominent artists. The only time an art professional might utter "It's just a print" is when they are referencing a reproductive print. This is usually a photographic rendition of an existing artwork, in other words, a photomechanical copy.
Why can't you value my art from photographs?
- As long as I am a professional art appraiser, I am held to a different standard than someone functioning strictly as a dealer.
- PLUS I like to be right!!!
Photographs do NOT reveal all condition issues and the public is not trained to properly describe them. How many of you can recognize light staining, mat burning, foxing, etc? These and other condition flaws significantly impact value.
A reproduction attached to canvas virtually looks the same as an original oil painting in a photograph. Unless I know which museum is currently hosting the actual painting, I cannot be perfectly sure you are showing me a photographically generated reproduction or an actual painting when viewing a photograph. Now there are gicleÈ prints printed on canvas and enhanced with paint, a hands-on inspection is a must.