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Fair Trade in Art Trade
Dancing colors: Keriacs legacy

Fair Trade in Art Trade:
Dream and Reality

Do we not all dream of a just world in which everyone is respected and


? Does not each one of us create every day anew reality? Do we realize dreams or do we realize nightmares?

The reality: in 2012 was the work of

Edvard Munch

, The Scream, for 119.900.000 USD, ie approximately 107.690.000 € at Sotheby's in New York under the hammer. This is so far, in 2015, the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

Edvard Munch

had created an extensive and much admired lifework. The Cry he created in four different variations. It was his life theme par excellence. Due to tragic family events he was throughout his life a manic depressive and in later years even addicted to alcohol.

After his artistic talent was recognized,

Edvard Munch

received as a young artist, a three-year working grant from the Norwegian government. He took advantage of this to live in the former hot spot of the art scene, Paris, for further development. The resulting works there trained for the basis of his later career.

In his will,

Edvard Munch

had left his life's work to his hometown Oslo. So he gave the Norwegian public back multiples of what he himself had previously received.

Edvard Munch

was obviously aware of his social responsibilities.

Edvard Munch

had behaved


ly. How does it look with the dealers of his most famous work piece?

Fair Trade in Art Trade

? 107.690.000 € for a single art work? Is there at all a shame border?

Obviously not. But lamenting this reality does not change it. The past is behind us, immovable and no longer to be changed. The future is uncertain ahead of us and is still being designed. In the present, we decide whether we create a beautiful dream or a nightmare.

In such auctions, it is long gone to art, even if it is art that is hawked. Here it's just a matter to serve the greed of profiteers. Let us leave those responsible involved in this and similar deals confidently to their karma and dedicate ourselves to creating a better reality.

How could this be?

Art collectors

who have learned the alphabet of ethics are completely keeping away from such a deal. Although the buyer of The Scream kept well away, because he hid himself in the anonymity and offered from the phone. This refers, of course, to not participate in such events at all.

Let us dream: Let's take it that a three-year working grant consisted of monthly payments for the livelihood of 2.000 €, plus a working medium package of 8.000 €. Such a work scholarship thus corresponds to the


of 80.000 €.

Do we share the amount 107.690.000 €, for which The Scream was hawked, by 80.000 €, so we come to the conclusion that it is approximately equivalent to 1.346 three-year working grants, which could be financed for artists.

Let's move on from the assumption that only one third of the world record sum would have to be removed for arts funding, so still just under 450 triennial work scholarships remain. Why just one-third? Because this is about the proportion all the many small taxpayers have to pay from their wages. Would the terms of trade of our reality be


, so the same would therefore apply to art dealers.

Imagine again which cultural


could be added by 450 three-years scholarships. Let us dream about which cultural appreciation could be made possible with it. Let us dream of the countless pulses that could be set in motion. Let us dream of a culture of peace and justice.

Finish the dream. Welcome back to the reality. The reality is that nothing, absolutely nothing had to be led away of this fantastic world record sum into the art promotion. Why not? Where is here the mutual social responsibility? Where are here the ethics? How can it be that the shameless greed of individuals not deters recourse? What can we do to wake up from this nightmare? How can we make a beautiful and

fair dream reality?

Looking for

investment opportunities

that do not pollute the karmic account unnecessarily,

art collectors

engage increasingly in an alternative that is ethically correct: Investing in living artists on


terms. Because it is always better, even to light a small light than to complain about the darkness.

In recent years, the movements in the art market have increasingly oriented towards

contemporary art.

This has many reasons. Among others, this one: The old masters are treasured by their owners as their own eyeballs. Hardly anyone sells here, unless of compelling necessity.

This also applies increasingly to the Classic Modern. So for

art collectors

it remains only to orientate themselves in

contemporary art

. Is it not obvious to apply directly to the artists?

This has for the art collector another

value added

that can not be bought with money: The emotional bond to the art piece, which now includes background knowledge about the creation of the work, perhaps even the friendship of the producer, the artist. The added


of well-being can not be quantified.

And what is worth a clean conscience? For how many millions is this to have?

If we want to realize the dream of

fair trade in art trade


artist galleries

offer an excellent opportunity. The artists themselves offer their works while

art collectors

will find a wide range of different art styles. Prices can be explored in a personal conversation. The authenticity of the work is assured.

A win-win-win situation for everyone involved. Simply


. Simply the best alternative.


Text and translation from German: Claudia Köhler
all rights reserved