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RE: [dvd-discuss] Nutty art laws (CRRA) about resale of art.

My initial reaction is "bullshit". Writing laws to benefit a few artists 
does not enrich society  but does enrich those few pitiful souls who 
believe art is an investment. For those and their brokers, I can't 
wait for the next price crash ($40M for Van Goghs Sunflowers 
pretty much soured my appreciation for that work). Why $1000 as 
the price break. Last I checked Peter Max was going for $3K in 
San Diego. Better to go around the corner to the artists colony 
better work and better prices. 

Before I begin discussing your post in detail, I believe I should 
present my own credentials..to head off an adhominem argument 
about not understanding poor sensitive artists. My Mother is a 
commercial artist, illustrator,and watercolorist. The latter she's 
been doing all her life. That first two she only started nearly 30 yrs 
ago. Has she exhibited-yes. Published -yes. well known -no. 
<shameless commercial plug here- anyone interested in amateur 
opera productions should look for the book she illustrated on 
costumes for them. It should be out sometime soon >. My brother 
is a professional photographer. I'm a semi-professional 
photographer-I have done professional work but it's not my main 
line (I do landscapes, abstraction but my brother seems to be able 
to people shots that I can't figure out how he gets them.). ANd I 
won't go into my friends, friends of friends who are artists.

OK having put this forth....into it...

From:           	"Nathaniel R. Merriam" <NMerriam@artboy.org>
To:             	<dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
Subject:        	RE: [dvd-discuss] Nutty art laws (CRRA) about resale of art.
Date sent:      	Fri, 16 Nov 2001 21:01:33 -0500
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> As an artist, i must say the law sounds sensible. It does not reward
> them for doing nothing -- it rewards the artist for increasing the
> value of the past work by their future work. Artworks do not increase
> in value just for the heck of it -- they increase in value because the
> artist builds a portfolio of great work that makes collectors seek out
> their earlier works.

I'm sorry but art is not an investment and that's what you are 
describing. Oh I don't doubt that many have made money at buying 
art but so what...OK let's debase it to the lowest level of 
currency...but Should the works increase, maybe the previous 
owners might buy more from the artist at higher prices. So what do 
we do with artist such as Rembrandt who pretty much died in 
poverty (LOVE those self portraits!). A $1000 level pretty much 
cuts off those with great talent but no great appeal...

> This is essentially no different than other forms of creative
> royalties -- for 99% of the people it makes no difference because they
> won't create a body of work that is in enough demand to meet the
> payment threshold, but for those who DO go on to create great work
> they get rewarded.

Vacuous argumentation. To what royalties do you refer? Beside, 
this is elitism at its worst-99% of the artists aren't going to get 
anything for this either.  

> Should Jerry Seinfeld not get royalties from those syndicating his TV
> show? After all, the TV stations are taking all the real "risk" of
> syndicating and broadcasting it, all he did was make the darn show and
> build an international reputation as a comedian. That doesn't take as
> much "risk"?

This is specious. The public broadcast of programming does NOT 
compare to the private purchase of Art.  The latter is a SALE OF 
Nothing more and nothing less. PERIOD! It is impossible to argue 

> The recording companies should avoid paying royalties because we all
> know they take the real "risks" in promoting a new band, right? All
> the band does is strum the guitar on cue. That doesn't take much risk.
> Nathaniel

Look. The artist puts forth items in the marketplace for sale. They 
are sold at the price agreed upon and they become the 
PERSONAL property of the buyer. If you really want to take the 
business school model of what art really is, the brutal fact is that 
some are winners and some are losers and so if art is an 
investment as you seem to be asserting, then if there are penalties 
for investing in winners there should be. If it is personal property, 
then the artist is OUT of the picture (no pun intended). If it is an 
investment, then as others pointed out, maybe the artist should be 
liable when it tanks and the investor should be able to take a tax 
write off for "bad investment in bad art".

The whole line of argumention here is that art is some kind of 
investment and that's PBS. It isn't. I've bought many works of 
inexpensive art over the years but not one did I buy because I 
thought it was an investment-I bought it because I liked 
it.<shameless plug for the Artist Gallery in Old Town Sand Diego 
and the Torpedo Factory In Alexandria Va.>. The notion that art is 
merely an investment and should be treated as such offends me 
and the notion that art should be judged as one for financial 
reasons does also. Art is Art. If the artist community wishes to 
embrace rampant unbridled capitalism as is reason for existance, 
then it should subjegate itself to it..but then it will lose its creative 

> >
> > As purchasing something like art for appreciation is a risk,
> > something that the origional artist will not accrur, this law seems
> > unbalanced. It rewards someone for doing nothing. I propose that an
> > amendment be made, such that if the cost of the artwork depreciates,
> > the artist is liable for 5% of the difference.