There are people who think that it is hard to set value of art, that art is timeless, ethereal, and full of inspiration somewhere in the sterile landscape of aesthetic measures. And since it is not possible to estimate its value, then it is supposed to be for free. An artist is an exception in the world where everyone charges everything. Especially Slovenian artists. They should be happy to save enough money for canvas and colours. And to charge for their work seems almost like a scandal. Art has no price, especially if instead of a painting of a young Slovenian artist we decide to hang up on the wall a reproduction we have bought in supermarket just for a few coins. And we saved some money… So, what have we lost?
At the same time we are witnessing a wild fetishisation of art, which is becoming more and more intended only for "consecrated". We are not even allowed to touch it. For the rest of us there is turbo-folk, societies for country women and girls, and sponsored exhibitions in front of the ticket office. That's it. That is what we are allowed to consummate and slowly languish. Art critics are right to be indignant at Slovenian art market: we have artists that could be compared to anybody just anywhere in the world, but we have nobody to pave their way. Slovenian collectors appreciate only "the names", while despites their enthusiasm numerous small private galleries can not perform their role.
But, what could be done? How could works of art from young artists get their value? We have decided for a brave, but somewhat risky move. We decided to set the price ourselves. Overbearing behaviour? Maybe, but do we have any other possibility to drawl public attention to underestimation of artistic works? We are selling the painting ZOJA - With Your Perfume impregnated, half in Dream of Catherina Zavodnik for no less than € 1,000,000.24. We are aware of the fact that the price is "unreal", utopian and exaggerated. But we are sure of one thing: there is a slight, but realistic chance for the painting to be sold. Due to a simple fact that the amount someone is prepared to pay for a "piece of art" depends on how much it means to him/her.
Since it is hard to believe that anybody would actually buy the painting, we will provide that visitors will have the possibility to pay negligible amounts for reproduction of the painting or for purchasing the image for background of their cell phone. And this is what matters. We would like to draw attention of the public to the mysterious relations between expensive – cheap, original – copy and to persuade people to ask themselves what is the »realistic« value of the painting. Has art its value on the market or is it just a hobby of a handful of enthusiastic collectors? However we won't be stopping there. We plan to exhibit the painting in bigger cities around Slovenia in the following two years.
The second exhibition was in Galeria Severia in Koper. Maybe it will sound too ambitious, but we will try to launch the painting as the most recognisable Slovenian work of art outside the narrow circle of artistic profession. The purpose is simple. Would such painting be worth more or less? Would it get better or worse artistic critics? Answers won't be simple, but interesting. And at the same time this is the way to promote young Slovenian authors and art itself. And this is the key objective of our project.
Galerija sloART.si (www.sloart.si)