Continuing the discussion on MT....here's an excerpt from Donald Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal" (pgs. 24-25):
A friend of mine, a highly successful and very well known painter, calls to say hello and invite me to an opening. I get a great kick out of this guy because unlike some artists Iâ€™ve met, heâ€™s totally unpretentious.
A few months back he invited me to come to his studio. We were standing around talking when all of a sudden he said to me, â€śDo you want to see me earn $25,000 before lunch?â€? â€śSureâ€?, I said, having no idea what he meant. He picked up a large open bucket of paint, and splashed some on a piece of canvas stretched on the floor. Then he picked up another bucket, containing a different color, and splashed some of that on the canvas. He did this four times and it took him perhaps two minutes. When he was done, he turned to me and said, â€śWell, thatâ€™s it. Iâ€™ve just earned $25,000. Letâ€™s go to lunch.â€?
He was smiling, but he was absolutely serious. His point was that plenty of collectors wouldnâ€™t know the difference between his two minute art and the paintings he really cares about. They were just interested in buying his name.
I think plenty of artists fall into this category. Is it wrong? No, they've worked the business side of it so their name is what give the product its cool, not so much the quality of work itself. (was every Beatle album really good? No, but it's the Beatles fer chrissake.) Is Britney Spears really a good singer? No, but we all loved the packaging the product came in. Ever hear a Yoko Ono album? (you'd rather lick a dirty ashtray...trust me.) I salute these folks....they've worked the psychology and mastering of branding to their advantage. Now, THAT'S art.
We teach this stuff in the workshops...it's about the marketing, kids. This is the irony of American bidness...if it's cool, it can still suck and sell. (Eat McDonalds's on an empty stomach and you'll know what I mean.) On the flip side, plenty of outstanding photogs out there ready to move back in with their parents because they haven't mastered the Art of the Deal.
Hey, I salute any photog that can market themselves and win the business game in spite of their work. It's takes plenty of luck to achieve that status, a good head for business, and prime networking abilities.
I look forward to the day I can ignore bad lighting, take out of focus pics, and still get paid well for it. ;-)
That'll be $25,000 please. Whattya mean I ain't there yet? Geeeeez....