Tuesday, July 8, 2014
When An Artist's Work Ends Up For Sale In A Thrift Store
Thrift Store Art Story How is an Artist Supposed to Feel when His Art Turns Up for Sale in a Thrift Shop? Lex Loeb Contributor Network . I walked into the William Temple Thrift Shop today just for the heck of going inside with no particular interest in buying anything . The girl I know who works behind the counter calls out my name telling me she has good news and bad news. That put me a little off guard. I don't need any bad news. What that I asked. She tells me that one of my old paintings was just donated to the thrift shop and she asked how I feel about it. I said something like "it sounds good to me--there is no bad news in that. It has happened before." The last time one of my paintings turned up for sale in the William Temple thrift shop a friend told me what a cheap price she bought it for. I would have bought it myself if I saw it there at that price. This time I asked how much it was and was told it was not priced yet. I asked to have a look at it curious which painting it was, as I can hardly remember all the paintings i have sold over the years. "Its a painting called Shirley Temple of the 80s and its from 1984. I will bring it out and show you." She brings it out and I do sort of recognize it. It was an experimental piece with 3 dimensional Plexiglas laminations on the surface in the style of elaborated side margin doodle. It really was not a bad piece but it is one that suffered from a crack in its surface that might reduce its value. The painting had a gallery price tag on the back suggesting it might have been sold for $55.00 . I said i would roughly appraise it for the thrift shop and said that it might be worth $55 still but that they were more likely to get $15 for it because of the crack in the Plexiglas surface. I was trying to be honest. I am pretty expert on pricing thrift shore junk and art so I probably got the price right. The painting went back into the back room and out of view till pricing after that. What is funny is to think about where the painting has been all these years that someone just now suddenly decided to abandon it by donation to a thrift shop. I also think it is interesting where it might go next. I can see that it is a painting that is not exactly one that many people will cherish like a Thomas Kinkade print. I would buy it back if it were $3 because I would know I could resell it for $20 or more but If i were to buy it I might be tempted to repaint parts of it rather than leaving it in it;s original state. Fortunately it was not yet priced to sell. I told the sales girl that if I wanted my art in a thrift shop I would just come in again and price it secretly leaving it on shelves as I have done that before in my own private placement schemes. Maybe the painting will sell and get donated to a different thrift shop a few years from now? Better than ending up in the land fill I guess? Who knows maybe someone cheap and influential could buy it and it could end up next to the Mona Lisa on a museum wall? More like like accidentally hanging on the interior wall of a dumpster? Some day I could bring a whole bunch of art down to the thrift shop and have an exhibition there. I could either price it and secretly put it out for sale or just donate it and see how they price it? If not William Temple Thrift Shop, Maybe Goodwill? I really should get to work on a thrift shop exhibition. .