The term starving artists became popular during the 1970s. Artists from all over the world would produce quick works of art and sell them on street corners or at small art shows. They called themselves starving artists because they sold their work cheap, and they didn’t care who bought it. In other words those artists were terrible at marketing their work and not good at producing it either. But those days are long gone. The art world is booming and artists all over the world are making money.
Art collectors are buying works of art from unknown as well as well-known artists just to say they collect even though their collection may be just two works or three that hang on a wall in their living room. Because there is such a surge in the appreciation of art, the amount of artists that are starving is exaggerated. In fact, it has always been exaggerated. For the most part, artists that want to make a decent living selling art can, but they have to be dedicated to selling in order to make money.
But most artists don’t care about the money. They don’t care what kind of car they drive, or what kind of home they live it. They live to create, and they do it where and when it feels good. There are great artists all over the world that paint or sculpt to expression their subjectivity not to make a dollar. True artists never starve. Their work feeds them with the desire to express and live to experience that expression.
Other artists paint to make money. They know their work is worth money to someone and they go after it. They visit galleries and do shows to be recognize, and at some point they find an investor like Adam Sender, the hedge fund manager turned art aficionado. Sender is an art collector’s, collector. Over the past 20 years, Sender has collected more than 800 works of art, and he has helped some of those starving artists make a lot of money. Last year, Sender sold some of his collection through Sotheby’s auction house in Miami for $70 million.
The artist represented in that sale had a huge payday thanks to Sender. Sender got his original art investment back and more, plus the artists got recognition and the knowledge that their future work would be worth more. So there are no starving artists in the art world unless they want to call themselves by that name. Most artists work for the satisfaction of creating beautiful works of art not to eat.