What Makes Art Valuable?

What makes art valuable?  The answer is a combination of subjective and objective factors.

what makes art valuable
What Makes Art Valuable?

Some of the major factors to consider when valuing art include:

  • Provenance – did anyone of significance (famous) or credibility (gallery/collector) previously own the art?
  • Authenticity (or Attribution) – did the artist actually create the art?
  • Condition – any physical damage will greatly diminish the art’s value
  • Historical Significance – is the artist recognized in art history and/or literature?
  • Artist Popularity – trendy art usually commands higher valuations.
  • Auction – art sold at auction creates a competition among wealthy patrons.
  • Typicality – is the art in line with the artist’s most recognizable style
  • Backstory – is there a particularly interesting story about the artist, or is their art in short supply?
  • Medium – works on canvas usually are valued higher than works on paper, paintings sell for more than sketches and prints.
  • Color – some colors historically attract more attention (eg red).
  • Subject Matter – certain themes are more highly desired, eg positive art vs negative art, beautiful people vs ugly people.
  • Wall Power – a subjective evaluation of whether the art captures your attention and evokes an emotional response.

There are appraisal services such as ArtPrice to help value popular and noteworthy art.  Local and regional art isn’t always well represented in these services, and so the use of a local appraiser or art gallery consultants is suggested.  808Arts.com curates and represents a variety of recognized Hawaii artists with commercially popular styles and themes. Perhaps the answer to the question “What makes art valuable” can be found in simply acquiring a piece of Hawaii art that makes you feel happy?

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