A Van Gogh!

A Van Gogh!
From the artists at ArtWorks945

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Knockout!

Well, ok.  Maybe I’m exaggerating.  It might be more of a knockdown or maybe even a shove.  But ‘Shove!’ hardly work as a headline.  And if I stick to the precise letter of the view that she expressed, the appraiser has indeed been knocked out.

Recall: the appraiser said the damage to Charlie’s painting made it worthless.  WORTHLESS.  To my ear that means I wouldn’t be able to sell his painting for any money. 

Well, appraiser, the bid for Falling Down Man has now reached $42.12.

Now, I realize that $42.12 is not a huge amount of money.  But still, $42.12 is more than nothing.  So I do feel that the appraiser has been shown to be wrong.

Of course, as in all things conceptual, there are some objections one might make at this point.

Objection #1

I haven’t strictly speaking sold Charlie’s painting.  To sell Charlie’s painting requires finding an individual buyer who is willing to put down a certain amount of money for it.

Objection #2

The bids came from my wife and two friends.  (Thank you Lisa, Paul and Keyne!)  But that doesn’t count.  I have to get bids from people I don’t know.  Otherwise, I haven’t really sold Charlie’s painting but have cajoled people into supporting my project.

Objection #3

$42.12 is nothing.  It’s not nothing in the strict sense.  But come on!  It’s hardly something. 

Ok.  I admit.  These are pretty good objections. 

I don’t think I can really answer the third objection at the moment.  Instead, I’ll just have to wait to see if more people bid on Charlie’s painting.  And if some of those people are relative strangers (or at least people over whom I don’t have any undue influence), then the second objection will be answered as well.

But what about the first objection?   From a conceptual point of view, I think the first objection is the most interesting.  I also think I have an answer to it.  But I will wait until the next post to give that answer, since it is a bit long winded. 

Before I end, however, let me remind anyone reading about the procedure to bid on Charlie’s painting.

You need to go to the following webpage, which will allow you to make a donation to UrbanMinistry.  In the comments section, which appears after you have entered your information, you should write: For ArtWorks945/The Van Gogh Project.

So anyone who thinks Charlie's painting is worth more than $42.12 and who would like to make a donation to ArtWorks945, please put in a bid.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Auction


After much stretching and turning of ideas in my head, I have decided to hold a cumulative auction for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man. 

I am not sure whether there is such thing as a cumulative auction.  As a relative outsider to both the art and fundraising worlds, I don’t know the range of events that people hold in order to mix money and art.  It wouldn’t surprise me much were a cumulative auction to have been held and for the words ‘cumulative auction’ to have a fixed meaning already.  But just to make sure that people understand what I intend to do, here is what I mean by ‘cumulative auction’.

A cumulative auction gives people a chance people to do two things at once: (1) donate money to a cause; and (2) help express their sense of how much a painting is worth.

In this case, the cause is ArtWorks945, an art gallery for the homeless in Charlotte; and the painting, as should be clear by now, is Falling Down Man. 

When you ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting, you need not bid as if you were trying to buy the painting.  Rather, you will add to the total that has already been bid.  Any money bid will go to ArtWorks945.  So you can think of your bid as a donation if you like.  But you can also see it as a way to express your opinion that Charlie’s painting is worth more than what has already been bid.

And where will Charlie’s painting go at the end of the auction? 

Well, it seems to me that there are two possibilities.  It could go to the person who has put in the most money toward the cumulative total.  I think that this is an attractive option, since it would retain some of the feel of a regular auction.  People who wanted to own the painting outright would obviously have an incentive to put in a larger amount of money than anyone else. 

I think I would have chosen that possibility if there weren’t in this particular case another obvious and it seems to me deserving recipient of the painting.  Tyler Helfrich, the director of ArtWorks945, has told me that they intend to start a permanent collection of art.  As of yet, they have no paintings in their collection.  When I discussed the possibility of a cumulative auction with Tyler, we agreed that Charlie’s painting would be a wonderful first piece in their collection.

So Charlie’s painting will go to ArtWorks 945.

To ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting, you need to do three things.

(1)  Click on the following link, which will take you to the UrbanMinistry donation page.  

(UrbanMinistry is the homeless shelter to which ArtWorks945 is connected.  Here is a link to its website:  http://www.urbanministrycenter.org/)

(2)  Follow the instructions that will allow you to donate however much money you want to donate.  In other words, ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting.
(3)  Write the following words in the Comments Box that appears after you enter your information: ArtWorks donation for the Van Gogh Project.

This last step is particularly important -- it is the only way the money will be designated for ArtWorks945; and it is the only way I’ll know how much money has been bid for Charlie’s painting. 

And that’s it. I’ll let the auction run for two months. 

I can’t wait to see what happens.