How pricing works
Pricing artworks is not an exact science, it’s rather a balancing act of judging several different factors. Our goal is always to give you the best value and get your money’s worth, whether it’s a €150 drawing or a €1000 vase. Each artwork at The Ode To is individually valued and we thoughtfully curate a selection of quality art at affordable prices. Here are some ingredients we take into account when setting The Ode To’s prices:
- Artist establishment: the more critically acclaimed an artist is the higher the prices get, due to the market collectively approving the price level. As artists get popular, more people are willing to pay, while the artist will have less time or can make more advanced artworks.
- Editions and originality: original artworks are unique one-offs that come straight from the artist’s hands and since there’s only one piece it’ll be more expensive than something that’s made in editions. The more editions there are, the lower the price will be. We always state how many editions an artwork is made in, so that you know how special it is.
- Method and time needed: creating artworks can be a slow process and require both time and time to practice. A ceramic artwork can take up to three weeks from start to finish because it first needs to be shaped, then slowly dried so that no cracks appear, then it’s fired a first time in the kiln, then glazed and fired a second time - all the while it can break during the process. Other times the technique is fast and looks deceivingly simple, but it takes years of practice to get it right and the artist will never be paid for the failed attempts.
- Material: bronze is more expensive than wood, which costs more than a sheet of paper. The material is not the main factor for pricing as a simple piece of paper also can be turned into a great work of art, but if the material is expensive it will ultimately show on the price tag.
- Size: sometimes a small artwork can be more expensive than a large one for the various reasons listed above. Sometimes a small artwork often requires a similar amount of work as a larger artwork in the same series, hence having a similar price. Sometimes a larger artwork requires a different technique, such a much larger kiln, than a smaller artwork and therefore gets fairly more expensive. So size matters depending on how it affects the artist’s work.
The story goes that Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!”
“No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”