What is it worth? A proposal for a conversation on Contemporary Jewellery and the Market

Article  /  CriticalThinking   Market
Published: 14.03.2023
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The Contemporary Jewellery Market, considering artistic criteria, should be working in the same way as any other art market to find the deserved place and compete at the same level as other art disciplines.

Sure, in other articles, we will talk about the factors that, in our opinion, make the contemporary jewellery market so peculiar. But today, we want to go directly to one of those factors that we understand can be the regulator, the lever, the switch... of a sustainable and healthy market functioning, prices.

Beyond the prejudice of the concept of the market, at Klimt02, we think that the market and, specifically, the information provided by the publication of prices helps to generate trust. Necessary for customers, collectors and buyers of jewellery and other artworks of crafts.

Creation, artistic act, artist's research, day-to-day work, and the synthesis of ideas must be on a different plane than that of the evaluation of artwork, of its price in relation to the cache of the artist in question, the demand for their work, the state of the economy in general. But as in the rest of the elements in this universe, everything is related. Whether we like it or not.

If in certain relationships, however complex, haphazard or irrational, we are not able to read, one that is very clear to understand is that without a market, without sales, and creation, the work of artists suffers. And in many ways. In today's parlance, without sales, there is no investment.

Without sales, the artists cannot work, or in other words, the quality of the product is lost. Without a market, there is no creative force. In Contemporary Jewellery, we have one important handicap: secrecy, which is doing more bad than good for that market.

Information for a healthy market should be public and transparent, and in regard to this issue, we think it is of high necessity to make the prices of the artwork public.

Transparency brings us the trust and healthy competition, therefore, promoting and enlarging the secondary market.

What idea do we have of what the market is?
What do we mean by trust?
Why do we still think not showing the prices of the artworks is good or helping sales?

For a market to work properly, there must be a product, a price, fair competence, and trust to allow potential clients to look, find, understand, and value the artwork.

Without prices, the buyer, the collector, and the art lover cannot access very sensitive information: there is no trust and no business.

Contemporary jewellery has all the conditionings to have a prominent place in this market: creativity, institutions, museums, galleries, publications and all types of international events to push it all to that prominent place. The important thing that is missing is this transparency in the cost of the artwork.

Publishing the prices is the beginning of a process that will help all the actors to balance the valuation of the works of art. That is why Klimt02 believes it is important to start working to achieve this goal as soon as possible.

Does hiding prices make better sales?

Prices help us see if we can afford to buy an artwork and define the artist’s cache and push a secondary market; when a secondary market shows up, the primary market is established.

It is a task of all of us (artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, clients, teachers, and students) to offer the actors playing at the markets the necessary tools to bring Contemporary Jewellery as a valuable, long-lasting art discipline.

Assigning a price to an artwork sometimes generates work, and this makes us very lazy because, among other things, it challenges us and asks us to make certain decisions, the artists and the gallerists, and we must do so with reasonable criteria., we cannot hide with other excuses. In addition, we do great harm to the development of the market. The number of works in the eyes of jewellery lovers without transcendental information to be able to sort and memorize in their brains.

Works of art without a price often generate insecurity in transactions, distortions, difficulties in the valuation of collections, non-existence of the much-needed secondary market, and no investment.

Does anyone think publishing the prices of works interferes with their contemplation and artistic fact? Won't it be a very childish treatment of the subject?

What generates a poor market? Artists dedicated to other disciplines, professionals and critics of low quality, schools devoted to pure speculation without future professional prospects, etc., all these conditions feed back.

How do we put an ideal price on our creations?
Well, there are different factors and criteria: the reputation of the artist, materials used, type of edition, market demand, etc.

We will continue this discussion in another article...

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