I have to say, when I first saw this initiative, I was excited, but then soon after other feelings started coming over me.
I understand auctioning art for a good cause is not a new thing and is definitely much appreciated, however, I am still in two minds about it.
Firstly, I think it is amazing that art can help the people in need.
Secondly, I am very appreciative of artists who give their artworks for these causes.
But then we come to why I am a bit wary of it.
(Good cause aside) these kind of marketing strategies are mostly aimed to young artists, who are already not able to live from their art and need to have a proper job besides being an artist. (Forget about that huge issue for now, maybe I will get into it another time. It just makes me cringe ….)
Yes, giving your artwork ‘away’ does give you a kind of exposure, but we can’t really go buy bread with exposure, can we?
These adverts also play on our emotions and ‘force’ us to give away our art. Yes, someone will supposedly have our artwork on display in their house (or maybe stacked somewhere in the garage, because they bought it just to donate the money), but how will that help us in our future as artists? Best case, artists, can get rid of the artworks that have been lying around their homes for a while and make space for new works…
But most importantly, the organisers of these causes know all that; they keep playing us and we keep being played.
Young artists are eager to put their art into the world. They want exposure and they want to help. ‘Easy money’ for the charities, isn’t it?
People keep expecting that the artists will give their artworks out for free. There is no value left anywhere. Well, ok, maybe there is some value in charities using the art to get the money in, however, it could also be done in any other way. Will people, who will take part in the auction really appreciate the art, or will they just do it for the good cause?
I guess it doesn’t matter though, as long as someone gets the money, right?