August 13, 2014

BUY ART! You won’t regret it.

Filed under: A few things... — Frank @ 11:09 am

I’m a fan of Polly Chandler. She is an outstanding photographer, currently living in Austin, Texas. I would describe her work as being allegorical. She works primarily in black and white and she carefully stages people, props and environments to give the viewer a suggestion about happenings and circumstances that are beyond the picture as well as within the picture.

I first saw her work published in TEST magazine, which was published for a short time by Polaroid Corporation. The photograph in the magazine was one she had made as a student at Southern Illinois University. Over the years I’ve viewed her website on occasion and I’ve shown examples of her work to my basic photography students to give them some inspiration and show them that images can be designed by the photographer rather than simply found.

Recently, Polly announced that she was having a “print sale,” Her Facebook Page showed her fans four images that would be available as small prints at a very low price. Flashback to 1970: as an undergraduate student at Ohio University, I wandered into an off-campus art gallery and saw a photo exhibition which included a print by Emmet Gowin. The image was one that I had seen in a photo lecture earlier in the semester. If you’re at all familiar with Gowin’s work, you’ll remember the picture of the little girl with her arms crossed and outstretched toward the camera, holding an egg in each hand. The print was being offered for a price of $75.00. I thought for several minutes about whether I could make it to the end of the semester without skipping any meals if I bought the print. I decided to think about it and come back later to buy the print. I never made it back to that gallery in the remaining two weeks of the semester and the exhibition ended with the print unsold. Two years ago a print of that image was sold for $14,000!

The price of the Gowin print certainly got my attention and made me wonder why I didn’t just pull out my checkbook and buy it when I had the chance. But, far more important than the appreciation in monetary value, was the realization that I could have been living with that work of art every day for the last 40-plus years and that there is no way I could afford to buy it today!

So I bought a print from Polly Chandler. Let it not be said that I don’t learn from my past mistakes. I paid very little for the print. I think I paid as much for the materials I used to frame it. And no matter how much it appreciates in monetary value in the coming years—I will never sell it—ever. If it ever does get re-sold, I will not be here to accept the payment.


14037-008 Polly's Print

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