What makes art valuable?

As I was strolling through EXPO Chicago a while back, I started thinking about what makes art valuable. Why do people invest thousands of dollars in personal art collections?

20131002-092721.jpg (Or $25,000 in this photograph of Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibovitz from the expo?)

I obviously don’t have the answer. For one reason or another, we need art. For this same reason we spend thousands and millions on pieces, collections, beautiful museums. And this isn’t a new idea, art has existed since 35,000 or maybe even 40,000 years ago. It’s not necessarily practical, there is not much of an easy quantifiable benefit to making or viewing art, and yet, it is such an important part of life in all cultures and throughout generations. It’s a form of documentation, communication and expression. Objects themselves don’t have value unless we assign value to them and people all over the world assign a lot of value to art. One of the questions I get a lot is why I chose to pursue art. I’ve given a lot of various answers over the years, but none of them are entirely accurate. The truth is, I don’t really know how it happened. Maybe the turning point was that book I made as a seven year old about growing a flower. Or my Rugrats drawing business in fifth grade. Or my grade school, high school and college teachers and professors pushing me further with every project and piece I made. Or maybe realizing that I’m not the desk and office type. I have no idea what exactly it is that made me value art enough to dedicate this much time, effort and money to it, but I’m certainly not alone and happy to be a part of this community :)  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments if you’d like!

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