In a time when a banana, duct-taped to the wall sells for $120,000, surely one can make the argument that art is not for the masses. Then again, Maurizio Cattelan's banana, entitled Comedian, evoked a huge reaction. And not just from a small, bourgeoisie exclusion of society, but by the masses.
Say what you will about the absurdity of the banana (and its price tag!), it accomplished something intriguing. In the words of the Billy and Beatrice Cox, the collectors that purchased the first edition of Comedian, "People who usually would not have been so interested in art wanted to see 'the banana'. It has opened the floodgates and morphed into an important debate about the value we place on works of art and objects in general.”
Let's face it - art is expensive. What is made clear by Cattelan's banana, is that intellectual property is truly valuable. Of course, you are also investing in the artist's time and talent (not all Cattelan's previous works can be reproduced by a seven year old in less than a minute!).
In my humble experience as an artist and solopreneur, it is extremely challenging to find a balance between the actual worth of an artwork (intellectual property + talent + time + hard costs, etc etc) and a price that is fair to the creator and affordable to the masses. We can't all sell bananas. Nor can everyone afford bananas!
Cue the concept of digitally downloadable art.
On trend with our ever-connected lifestyle, it is becoming more and more commonplace to purchase digital products and resources online. It is the future! Not only does it gift consumers the opportunity to get that-thing-you-really-want without any waiting period and without paying for shipping (trust me - there's no such thing as free shipping!), it also means massive savings and simplifications for artists. In turn, this measure of sustainability means art can be offered at less banana-esque prices!
Although the concept of digitally downloadable art is not a new one, I finally got around to starting my own line during our National lockdown. The first set features three gorgeous indigenous flowers. Soon, I'll be getting to work on three SA garden birds (vote for your favourite in this quick survey, and you could win a set of downloadable wall art illustrations!).
Don't let the incredibly affordable price tag fool you - these watercolour and pen illustrations were created with immense love, attention to detail and expertise (see the work-in-progress below!), and will be a fresh, modern and uniquely South African addition to any indoor space! Simply download and print at home or at a professional print shop. No shipping. No waiting period. Digital download straight to your device!
And no chance of anyone eating them off your wall.
I can hear you going, "Huh?". Did I not mention that Cattelan's $120,000 banana was nonchalantly eaten during the exhibition...?