My post about the Brooks Jensen essay generated some thoughts by my friend and fellow photographer Alex Kunz. His final comment woke me from my nap and put me in another introspective spin.
Mental exercise: if you could see your own photographs being just as good as the ones you saw in that gallery in La Jolla, would you buy it if the price was similar to what you ask for on FAA? Or would you rather say "well for that price I'd rather hang one of my own" then? :-)
There was a single image that I felt I would buy if the price were right; but within seconds I thought, no I wouldn't. I said to myself, "That's fairly similar to what I have in my catalogue and I feel my work is just as good (eye-of-the-beholder stuff), so I'll just print my own." The reasoning here, now that I've been challenged, is that the author of the gallery work is completely unknown to me. Even now I can't recall his/her name. But, if it had been a Michael Kenna, or Keith Carter and it was priced in the same range I charge for my works I'd snatch it up in an instant and ask for more. But, I doubt it would have hung on those walls at that price long enough for me to finally discover the gallery and decide to visit.
A point Alex made earlier in our discussion was that gallery works are not priced for general public (i.e. photographers) but for investors. A solid point and one I overlooked. Someone with La Jolla money will buy this because he/she knows of the photographer and expects that artist to be a future Kenna or Carter. It's like holding on to a Tony Gwynn rookie card hoping the kid will make good (btw, he did).