Tintype sells at SoHo Photo Gallery (Gallery Work)
I don’t know how appropriate it is for an artist to disclose some details of the sale of his/her work. I’ve been debating (in my head off-and-on for the past half year) whether I should even post anything about any transaction. Now, to be clear, I would never divulge the name of the collector who purchased my work.
I finally decided to make this posting thinking that the following may be helpful to other artists who need background info on how to price their work, especially one-of-a-kind originals in alt(historic) photographic processes. Let me be clear: This post is not boasting; it is encouragement for fellow artists.
My work, “Escape,” a 6×8 inch chemigram on wet plate collodion positive (original metal tintype plate) was one of 43 entries juried into the SoHo Photo Gallery’s National Alternative Photographic competition, then awarded an Honorable Mention by the juror, and sold during the Gallery Opening last November 2016.
The price to the collector was $800, which netted $560 to me after the 30% gallery commission. The price was set my me, the artist, based on personal discussions with the famous NYC art collector and former gallery owner, Bill Hunt. This private discussion was held during the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago in late September 2016. I was introduced to Bill that night by a mutual acquaintance. Several collectors were perusing my work during the Photo Walk event that Sat. night, and a few offered to buy select pieces and one person even offered to purchase an entire series of 5 plates. However, Mr. Hunt told me to NOT sell my original 6x8inch plates for less than $500 each. I was told that this is a unique process that results in one-of-a-kind artwork that cannot (currently) be reproduced by others. That scarcity adds value and collectibility. Bill told me that even with the prestigious crowd with centuries of collective photographic knowledge surrounding us at the photo review, there are only a handful of people who realize the unique nature and the irreplaceability of this work. So, I submit to you, fellow artists, this reiteration: “Scarcity is Value.”