The art market can be so cruel. The kids of Manly Village Public School have a biennial art auction where the children’s art is sold to raise money for the school. Last weekend the parents, students and teachers raised $23,000 from the auction with one piece fetching the rather handsome price of $4,900. Over in Gladesville, the Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School held a similar auction that raised $14,500 with one work going under the hammer for $3,000. Is kid’s art the new thing in the secondary market?
Under the heading Turning children’s art into a primary industry, the Sun Herald‘s education reporter Amy Lawson tried to make just such a case:
“Welcome to the world of kid’s art where parent’s are digging deep to grab a sentimental piece of their child’s history, with some items selling up to $5,000, as much as a Ken Done original.”
Lawson went on to explain about the primary schools and their fund raising efforts and the excitement and pride felt by the parents.
“Jennifer Gallagher is the proud new owner of a piece of art created by her daughter Jordan year 3 class. While the piece cost Mrs Gallagher ‘between $700 and $900′ she said the memories involved in its creation were priceless. The half sufboard, which was decorated by the class of eight and nine year olds, will hang in the Gallaghers’ living room where Mrs. Gallagher hopes Jordan and her friends can see it in years to come and remember the fun they had making it.”
This is the kind of art story that brings a tear to your eye – kiddies making art, being creative, people donating their money to a good cause… Then along comes cruel reality in the form of Christie’s bigwig David Cook who deals a hammer blow to the dream:
“David Cook from Christie’s art auctioneers said that while parents paying thousands for their child’s creation was a generous gesture , the art itself would have no monetary value. ‘It’s worth what the market place tells you its worth,’ he said. ‘Money and art is illogical. The reason why parents are paying that sort of money is obviously to support the school and encourage the kids.'”
What a meanie! Hey kids, your art is worthless. Actually, Cook was quite right in pointing out that art is only worth what people are prepared to pay for it – but by that logic kids art really could become the next hot area of collecting. The same logic applies to any number of absolutely hopeless artists whose work attracts the big bucks at auction and so, with enough people believing, it really could happen. Luckily we’ve got in at the ground level with works by noted artists Rosie, Hal and Tyler on our fridge and, after GST and the usual premiums, we’re gonna make a killing!