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20th Apr 2010

How Professionals and Merchants Can Easily Prosper by Bartering for Art

A recession or downturn in the art market is the ideal time for professionals, merchants and people who offer services to collect and prosper from Contemporary Art – through bartering their goods and services in exchange for art.

There are many stories of people who were not otherwise personally connected to artists or galleries who eventually became quite wealthy simply because they bartered goods or services with emerging artists who had a new way of making art. Usually, the connection was happenstance. The artist lived in their neighborhood or area and approached the new collector, who offered to swap with the struggling artist.

Jackson Pollack traded paintings with his local grocer in a small town on the East End of Long Island. People in the area would do their shopping in a small store that was actually “decorated” with original Jackson Pollack paintings. As I recall it, the grocer was not actually fond of the works, but liked Pollock and wanted to help him and his wife, Lee Krasner out. So he traded with them.

Almost every year a dentist is named Adrian Mullish in ArtReview’s Power List of Contemporary Art. Why?

Damien Hirst recalls meeting Mullish in 1990: ‘When I went to see Adrian I had to have some dental treatment which was really expensive. So he just said, “Look, I know you haven’t got any money and you’re an artist. If you give me some art… “

For instance, back in the early 1960’s Pop Artists like Andy Warhol (who did not sell a single Campbell’s Soup Can work at his first solo show) were struggling because they were so different from the then newly recognized and celebrated Abstract Expressionists. That was a great entry level time to invest in artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg or Johns. The patrons who commissioned Warhol to create portraits of themselves (at prices then far below the recognized elite portrait artists of the day) ended up owning art that both soared in value and immortalized them, even if they were not celebrities. However, an artist today who is basically creating good Pop Art, but is not one of the original Pop Artists, such as Jasper Johns or Peter Max, may be fun and worthwhile collecting esthetically, but probably is not a great investment.

For investment purposes look for new and emerging artists whose ideas about art and styles have the potential to influence other artists in the future. Look for artistic innovators who are probably doing something radically new and so are not immediately accepted by the establishment.


Exodus 20- Ten Commandments (George Washington)

Strokes are original letters of the scripture text.

Yet, any good art can be understood as a wise or good but not necessarily amazing investment for a frequented by the public where the temperature, lighting and cleanliness conditions are such that the art can be safely displayed. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants and other professional offices provide a good, low humidity climate controlled environment for art.Advertisers, restaurateurs and savvy professional people know that authentic original art contributes to their product’s businesses success. Hotel owners have also noticed this and more and more small hotels display art, including from local artists who are not the groundbreaking type of artists mentioned above, as it does increase repeat business and word of mouth.

While most of the collectors who bartered with twentieth century artists when they were emerging lived in proximity to the artists, thanks to the Internet to some degree we all now live in the same web neighborhood. Twenty-first century artists who are visual trailblazers are certain to be involved in other innovative methods of communication and interaction. Find artists through social media like Twitter or Facebook, where you can find links to their websites.

Try Craig’s List or post through social media sites offering to trade your goods and services for art. Attend local gallery openings. When you meet artists, as many attend openings, hand them your card and suggest that you would be open to barter your services for art.

Today’s innovators have web sites, which usually are different from other artists’ websites, and contain writings as well as artworks. Ask yourself what Warhol, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso, etc., would have created in a website and how that site might have grown organically, especially before they were renowned and funded. An artist’s website can tell you more about an artist’s potential, because one innovative picture is worth a thousand words on a resume.

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Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself. See more or yourself. Discover the art of Judy Rey Wasserman’s UnGraven Image.

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.
Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

3 Responses to “How Professionals and Merchants Can Easily Prosper by Bartering for Art”

  1. Art Trip Says:

    Great post and agree that you never know who will end up lauching your career. Would be fun to see how much art you could barter.

  2. judyrey Says:

    In the tradition of the great artists, I am willing to barter! One of art’s best barterers was Caravaggio used barter to get himself out of all kinds of trouble (like jail) with the authorities, but they called it gifts. Most artists simply trade for goods and services.

  3. Georgie McNeese (ArtByG) Says:

    Bartering sounds like a great idea to me. I wish my dentist, who will soon take a chunk of change out of my purse, would take some of my art instead.

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