This video, of course, is a two-dimensional display of a three-dimensional artwork while the sound heard is a reproduction of the actual music. This artwork needs to be viewed in person to grasp its physical size, depth, and the sound production that is generated from within the canvases. That speaks to a key problem I have with what I now define as Sculptural Music Boxes, or SMBs
I will store this work with the previous project, Your Song, for now, in the studio behind the main easels. And like Your Song, I will use this artwork as a reference. Otherwise, I have no plans for a public exhibition of it or of any other artworks. I have come to a display halt hesitant to show these works in public. Some of that feeling comes from the disruption caused by COVID, when all exhibitions either went away, or came back as an unexceptable virtual event. The rest comes from within.
What am I to do with my Etsy storefront where I once listed dozens of artworks for sale? Since I open that store I have sold 14 items. The first year I sold seven artworks with the first selling for $260 in early 2014. The two most expensive paintings I sold occurred the following year, one for $1045 and the other for $1050. Then sales slowed to one here, one there. The last artwork, a commissioned work, I sold through Etsy in late 2017 for $575 dollars. Looking at the site, I see I let 50 listings expire in 2019 and put 21 in inactive status. My pricing range for the expired listings was from $325 to $2,800, plus a small shipping charge that varied, but was under $100. That reminds me of my local gallery experience when finally, after hanging and expensive work for a long time, I exchanged it out with two smaller pieces priced under $1000 each to see if cost was the issue. In time, the Gallery asked me to remove them. They knew what I have known: I don’t sell.
All those previous artworks were standard two-dimensional canvases and not interactive. My current artworks are all three-dimensional and interactive, which makes them a lot more complicated, expensive, and fragile to handle. The thought of trying to ship one of these new artworks in some kind of packaging bubble that would be required concerns me. It would not only be a timely endeavor, it would be an expensive package to produce, costing hundreds of dollars to ship. Then my next issue would be the unpacking after it arrives at its destination. Who and how will they unpack the artwork? Will they hang it safely? Finally, will the music actually play? I am speaking from experience of handing each of these artworks. I have had equal concerns with exhibition professionals handling these artworks and have communicated directly with them to insure all goes as expected. Trying to explain, or fix, or help or understand a buyer on a phone, a thousand miles away, whom I know little about, reminds me of a past that is that, past. Add in that selling on Etsy comes with high customer satisfied bar and what do I do if the customer is not happy? That too I would rather leave in the past.
Although all this hassle is to be expected when selling online, I believe no amount of financial compensations would overcome the complications and the difficulties of selling, packaging, and customer satisfaction needed to sell. I know what I know and that known is no matter what; I don’t sell. Updating this artwork store would end up being nothing more than a vanity Etsy store, with monthly renewal bills from Etsy. COVID is going out the door; I am going to shut the door on this store. For now.
For my next project. I have decided for no particular reason to challenge myself with the opening movement of Beethoven’s fifth Symphony number 5. I actually painted an artwork that sold in 2014 from this movement.
The building pictured is by Frank Gehry. I am planning on using the building’s facade and colors on the main three foot by four-foot canvas in the setup image. For the two smaller side speakers’ canvases, I am considering a Beethoven quote. So it is to be.
Scott Von Holzen