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March 2015

Figurative Site-specific sculptures in limestone placed at St. Philips Church in Frisco, TX

Can Art Really be Priceless? Depends who you ask.

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Question, can art really be priceless? There are many pieces of art that some consider to be “priceless”, but what exactly does that mean? The term can be applied to any work of art no matter the market value. For example, the painting The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, which many consider to be priceless, sold for approximately $273 million – looks like it had a price after all. On the other end of the spectrum is a child’s first drawing which the majority of parent’s would consider priceless despite the fact that the market value for such a drawing would be zero. What gives?
I’ve recently been working with a local artist in Dallas and was going through some of his finished pieces. One particular piece caught my eye. Tucked away and surrounded by other works, I found a beautifully sculptured figure being released from alabaster rock. I spoke to the artist about the piece and asked if he would sell it to me. He told me to speak with his business manager. Of course the business manager told me that was the artist’s way of saying he’s not willing to sell it for any price. That particular older piece was considered priceless to the artist. While disappointed, I must say it was refreshing to hear.
As you can see, the term priceless is really a person’s point of view. It can be applied to anything from a painting of great importance to crayons on construction paper to a current sculptor’s early works. A buyer can always put a price on something but it is nice to see an artist place value in experience not dollars.