I just read an article in a recent Wall Street Journal entitled The Art Assembly Line. It certainly made me think. The article talked about artists who don't actually pick up a brush but have assistants do it for them. Many have a whole staff to produce enough paintings (or sculptures) to provide galleries and customers with new works. They maintain that the ideas are theirs and so it is OK for others to do the actual work. One artist remarked about having 7 different artists in India do his paintings, "I prefer not to be involved in actually painting, It liberates me not being encumbered by the technical proficiency." WHAT???? Now it seems that most of these "artists" are doing contemporary pieces. Contemporary pieces are what museums buy for their collections and give showings for. Contemporary pieces often command very high prices. I do know of one current realist painter who also employs artists assistants to do some of his work. This is one of the most well known painters today.
Then there are those realist painters who make very good giclee prints, dab on a few brushstrokes and suddenly they are "original", not reproductions. Prints are prints, reproductions and should be sold as such. Of course they are reproductions. Some very good articles about this phenom is in the website www.artbusiness.com, well worth a look-see for both artists and collectors.
Another of my favorite websites is for the Art Renewal Center, www.artrenewal.org They promote beautiful realistic and figurative works considered passe' by the contemporary art world. Beauty passe'??
Oh well, just a few musings on art...... one thing not mentioned and that is the satisfaction of the acutal making of art, of the doing, the joy of the feel of the brush, the smell of the paint and joy of creating. This is something an assistant cannot do!
Now to get to work painting.......