their career where they connect to a special voice all their
own. From this point forward, their work starts to follow a
certain noticeable trend. This is also the point where
the artist's work really starts to gain value, because
the voice of an artist becomes a stabilizing force
representative of who the artist is and how their work is
accepted by the public. Collectors can see an established
line of progression for the artist. This progress becomes part
of the artworks' intrinsic value.
The art world works very differently than any other
retail industry. There is no set medium for the values given
to works by living artists, so prices can range from the
heavens to the earth. For example, if you find a piece by an
artist who sells in only one or two galleries, the prices are
established by the gallery owner and the artist talking
together to figure out how much they can get for the piece.
This is definitely not the best scenario for a buyer,
because depending on the gallery's level of greed and their
rent cost you may be looking at quite a price for a not-so-
known and not-so-established artist.
When an artist who is marketed through a very small
number of galleries is selling a painting for over ten
thousand dollars, the buyer is at the mercy of those
galleries.  When there are only one, two, or three
galleries selling an artist you will not be getting a
true market value, because there is no market for the
artist yet, so you must be the judge. The other negative
to an artist who is only in three galleries or less and sells for
well over ten thousand dollars is, the other galleries may
have equally outrageous pricing and may not be more
On the more balanced side of the market is what's
called program art. Program art involves well-established
artists who work independently or with publishers and have