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this artwork values $ 314,15

How to determine the monetary value of an artwork?

I believe that the topic has rivers of words and countless people around the world has made a lot of money on the deterministic impossibility of the subject. The auction houses base their prosperity in the undisputed capacity to generate endless narratives about a cubic infinity of works of art. In fact, whatever reason we do, it is the result of pure fantasy, like a novel.

When an artist poses the problem of evaluating his own work, he immediately passes from the awareness of his own round modesty to the quadrangular necessity of making ends meet. In my case, moreover,  there is no market reference for my works. Yes, they are calligraphy, but also posters and of a quite unusual content and style and made as unique pieces. In addition they are the result of a professional, cultural and artistic path lasting more or less 45 years. However it was not a straight path. I have not identified my vocation in time. In some ways I was prevented, for others I did not immediately have the courage to make choices difficult to adapt to common sense. Let's say that my brushwork are the fruit of a snake that, having left towards the West, finds itself, at a distance of fifty years, proceeding towards the East, tracing in time and space of the soul what could be a circle. Does this provide greater or lesser value to the work? Some may increase it, others decrease it, and some may endlessly decide on the subject. I only know that it was much more difficult, through deserts of solitude, finding rare and deep wells of desperate suffering. Then it happened that the opening of the last doors has triggered all the creativity acquired and compressed over many years. But I assure you, it was a delirium.

So for me the value is increased. But bigger than what? In fact, the evaluation of one's own art is precisely the literary quadrature of a circle of life, a transcendent task. If you think that all this is a boring and utterly sterile chat, you are wrong. It is the foundation of the identification of value. The keywords are:

  • circle

  • square

  • transcendent

  • number.

Can not you think of anything?
Yet it is easy.
There is a symbol that summarizes all this, it is graphic, it is ancient, and it is one of the great mystical mysteries of all time: Pi = 3.145 etc etc 

And here the artwork takes a true value , absolute, consistent: there is a story, there is a reason for the market, you can believe it or not, you can buy or not, you can think it is expensive or a bargain, everyone can compare with that value. The values also relate to the support. One thing is a digital print by scanning the work. Another is the original work, realized with the technique of the westernized shodo (which can be trivially described with "ink on paper", leaving out the substantial part of the ceremony developed by the artist).

Obviously the first will have a lower value due to the fact that it is printable an infinite number of times, is aimed at an audience that admires the content of the work and not its rarity / scarcity / originality (I want to clarify that the author has been duped for decades on the curve of supply and demand, ending up by discovering that it is one of the most effective lies, the most perfect example of a lie that verosimilarizes itself with the number of minds that believe in it, contradicting the theory itself with their number. However, since today it corresponds to a conspicuous piece of common sense, I need to take it into account). The author is happy to improve the life of the customer who appreciates the sense of the work by offering digital prints of the work at a low price. Just move a comma and even the last artist from the Philippines Interiors can buy it online from the printing and distribution platform, paying the author only $ 3.14. The collector, however, the one that only appreciates the originals, will be satisfied to pay the absolute rarity of the work with its transcendent value of $ 314.15, because he believes to be worth 100 times the Philippines artist. Just moving the comma, a sign, an illusion ink stain inside the symbol of the quadrature of the circle, the area of a circle of radius "100", how much is worth the life of the successful collector, a nice "100" precisely, and here it is done:

to each his value and to the artwork his real reason for existing: the transcendent square of the circle of life.

There are also additional aspects. By linking the value of my work to Pi, I would also like to link any client with an endless debt to me. Because 314.15 is only an approximation. The numbers after the comma are infinite. So the owner of the work, looking at it (both in the original and in the digital copy), will have to convince itself that its value, day by day, increases only for the fact of its awareness of Pi. The same will apply to the owner of the digital copy.

If then the demand for originals should become urgent, as the amateurs are still convinced of the absolute truth of the bullshit of the curve of supply and demand, it will be the author's care to move the comma even further to the right, setting the value at 3,141.59 or at 31,141.59 or even 3,141,592.65, with simple ten-based multiplications that approximate the subjective value of the life of the successful collector who wishes to purchase works of art at his level. 

This always and only for the original a4 size. However the system is clear for larger artworks. Please consider the space occupied by multiples: the original a3 will have a value of $ 628.32, the a2 $ 942.48 and so on, with possible displacements of the comma in correspondence to frantic (possible but improbable) of the demand and supply curve.

So I built a purely literary reference system for a market question, which is a narrative question, as I said before. A system that could be adopted by all artists, if desired, transforming the art market into a transcendent business. There would be nothing wrong.

After all, a laugh will overwhelm us. Unavoidable.


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