Why is Visual Art so Expensive?

Why is Visual Art so Expensive?

Visual art, including gallery-worthy paintings, sculpture, and photography is expensive because of its scarcity and subjective nature. Art has high production costs and can only be appreciated subjectively, meaning that someone needs to explain why something is worth buying. For instance, one may have bought a $10k artwork to complement their kickertisch as they play it with their friends. It’s all in the person’s point-of-view. With all factors considered, art remains one of the most expensive hobbies and pastimes in the world.

The Cost of Producing Art

A lot of people think that an artist simply creates a piece of art, and then it’s worth a lot of money. However, this isn’t the case. In fact, the sole fact that art is a luxury item means that the production process is extremely expensive.

Artists must earn a living wage, which means that they need to charge a high price for their work to make a profit. There are plenty of other costs that add up during the creation process, including:

  • Raw materials – Paint, brushes, and canvases are expensive, and artists need a large supply.
  • Studio rent – Most artists rent a studio, and the cost can add up.
  • Marketing – Getting the word out about art exhibitions and artist shows costs a lot of money.
  • Insurance – Art is delicate and needs protecting.
  • Resale value – Artists want their work to appreciate in value, and this requires a high price at the start.

Why is Art so Expensive?

Art is often viewed as a luxury item, and it is expensive to produce. Artists need to make a living wage and charge a high price for their work in order to profit. However, there are other aspects that contribute to the cost of visual art as well.

  • Art is subjectively viewed – Art is a subjective experience that can only be appreciated subjectively. The buyer must trust the artist’s opinion in order to buy the work.
  • Artists need time to create – Art is time-consuming to create, and artists need a lot of time to create their best work.
  • Art has limited availability – Art is rare, and there is little to no supply when compared to demand.
  • Art is unregulated – There are few regulations when it comes to selling art, and buyers have few protections if something goes wrong.