When I first launched this website, someone asked how could I charge so much for my prints and photography. The answer is simple, “You’re not paying for how long it took me to print the photograph, not even how long it took us to create the image, but you’re paying for my over 40 years of experience in photography.”
If you’re familiar with great artists, then you know our thoughts on the value of our creations are based on the great painter, Pablo Picasso and his principles that your art has value, not perceived value, but value earned through experience, not just creativity. In fact, it’s fair to say, since this is the launch of AmericanoDream.com, we’re offering discounted prices as our prices are destined to increase over time for various reasons.
My mentor, Robert Farber, has told me for many years now, “Get your photos in the galleries and to collectors.” I’m not sure what took me so long, but this is a new avenue I’m pursuing. I’ve noticed what the art collector and art gallery scene is doing for people like Robert, as well as others, not to mention art collectors are setting records this year, and not just with paintings and sculptures, but fine art photography too, as photographer Cindy Sherman’s photos among photographs from other artists were in the record setting Christie’s action on Nov. 14th that brought in $852.9 million.
Collectors wrapped up the first two weeks of November alone spending $2.3 billion on various types of artwork, including photographs from major auction houses Christie’s, Phillips and Sotheby’s in New York. A new trend is evolving too, as many of the collector pieces that sold were of art created from 2010 up through 2013, not just older pieces of art, and this included fine art photography.
Does this mean collectors realize Picasso’s principles on paying for not just the piece of art itself, but the experience behind it? We’re banking on it and only time will tell—and we’re still going to create our masterpieces—but price them with Picasso principles in mind.
While there are many stories on Picasso principles, and for that matter even his personality, one of our favorites about his business principal for art is this one,
“Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”
So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.
“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.
“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”
To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”
Obviously I’m not Picassos, and my creations are not done in one pencil stroke much less the click of a camera shutter. I normally take the time to plan my shoots, or concepts as I refer to them. Often I face many battles, but I understand this thing they call “life.” Once those battles end, or are avoided, I go to work on my creation, pouring in not just all those years of experience, but my love and passion of creating photographs, not pictures.
So perhaps the next time I’m asked, “Why do you charge so much for a fine art limited edition print?” my answer should be, “You’re not paying for how long it took me to print the photograph, not even how long it took me to create the image. You’re paying for my over 40 years of experience in photography—plus for my genuine love and passion I pour into every photograph I create; you get more than just a fine art limited edition print.”
With that I close and as in all my books and blogs, I ask you not to forget the men and women in our armed forces who sacrifice everyday so we may enjoy our art while they protect our freedoms. God Bless them, their families, their friends, and God Bless Picasso too, may he rest in peace, Rolando.