Why is one piece of art worth thousands of dollars and another worth tens? Valuing art is one of those 'how long is a piece of string' conversations. While the inputs of hours, materials and framing all make up components of the cost, how do you value the hours (and hours) of thinking, sketching, practicing that it takes to make a 'valuable' piece of art?
I have artworks from a number of artists and I, generally, couldn't tell you what I paid for any piece. I have purchased art because it resonated with me. When I walked away from the artwork I kept thinking about it, it haunted me. I think any artist who can do that should be valued.
A recent conversation with the orchardist in my life got me thinking. Is it better to pay $30,000 for an 'established' artist or is it better to support a number of emerging artists who can't command the high price tag? My personal preference is for the latter because the art is often more interesting (artists who have achieved high prices appear less likely to innovate and change) and supporting someone at an early stage could make a real difference. Regardless of value, I still think art should be purchased from the heart.