artist's book

Book art an expensive art?

Often, the price of such an artistically designed book seems very expensive to people who hold a unique book in their hands for the first time. At second glance, it appears to be good value for money. The higher price is then justified in their eyes as soon as the viewer is made aware of the development and effort involved in the production and the joy and deep feeling of being moved when looking at the artist's book.

Where does this train of thought come from? In general, books today are sold at a relatively low price. The largely automatic production is a guarantee for a reasonable price. When a visitor with this background of experience looks at a one-of-a-kind book, or any other handmade book, the first thing that will astonish him is the price for this work.

Only when one explains how extensive the production was, or rather one should speak of creation, - the working time, the manual labour, the valuable material, the painting, the printing by hand, does a puzzle come together piece by piece for the viewer.

Slowly, the achievement behind the book art becomes visible. But it also reveals the artistic meaning behind the work and the respective price. From an artistic point of view, the price is rather secondary in the production. In my opinion, what is decisive is the artistic expressiveness of the work, the desired meaning for the collector and buyer. Actually, the purchase should only take place if - ideally - there would be a spiritual level between the artist and the buyer. Then an intensive spiritual exchange would take place.

Seen in this light, the price of a book is, in principle, not so decisive. It seems much more important to me that the book finds the right buyer. As long as he wants the book and is financially able, he will accept the price.

Another aspect that we have ignored so far is the fact that the book is much more than a picture. I have already mentioned it in early remarks, book art always shows an artistic development process that will always remain receptive for the viewer.

With the artist's book, you are not just buying a book. If you look at this artistic work from the point of view of the quantity of the different pages, the buyer receives an entire museum, or gallery in return. Each individual picture stands for itself, for a special part in the history of the book.

In conclusion, book art is not an expensive art, but an inexpensive achievement of an artist.

Book art is worth its price!

Gerd J. Wunderer

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