Basically, art value is determined by quite a few factors. Who's the
artist? That’s defined by: how long have they been making art; have they
done anything in their medium that is unique; do they have a style and is
there rarity to what they produce (as well as what’s happening in the
market they are in)?
So let’s look at Michael Seewald.
How long have they
been making art?
Michael was being
taught how to paint by his mom as a child. He won his first competition in
painting at the age of 13. He got a camera about the same time, and
basically switched interests after a couple of years to that. He won his
first national competition when he was just 19, and has since won many
more national, and international competitions as well. Although he does
not have as much time to paint as he’d like, he still does and he’s still
winning awards with them also.
Link to current paintings:
Link to past award winners:
Has the artist done anything in their medium
that is unique?
Michael developed a unique sponsorship program that has now financed over
60 world-wide creative trips. He now has hundreds of sponsors that have
help him create thousands of images, many, if not most, limited editions.
He is now selling images for as much as $9,000 for 40x50’s,
sight-unseen. This is more than most photographers can get for images
already made and exhibiting!
More in sponsorships, history, pricing, testimonials:
Does the artist have a style?
During a college photography class Michael was given an assignment to
‘make a dream series’. So he went out and did so, photographing his room
mates girlfriend on a local pier at dusk, thus needing a long exposure due
to lack of light. The effect it created intrigued him, and although first
an accident, it soon became his style, slowly perfecting it over decades
now. Folks walking though international competitions of hundreds of images
state they know a Seewald at first glance without even seeing the name of
the artist! That class was over 40 years ago. This strong style has also
garnered him wins in many national and international competitions, and the
attention of national fine art photographic magazines (see ‘Finding his
Niche’, Photographers Forum Magazine, Nov. 1993 issue) Link here:
He’s also run his own art galleries since 1983,
not only showing his own art, but showing dozens of well known artists.
Plus he's exhibited in other galleries all over the state, and has even
had a museum exhibition in Kunming, China. Photos/article here:
Click photo to enlarge.
1971 - Seewald's first year in
college and he wins national collegiate photo competition.
Another determining factor, often overlooked,
is what the market looks like.
There are now many limited edition photos that are re-selling at auctions
for between one and $4.5 million dollars! This by artists maybe not even
as serious as Michael: he first traveled with so little money he’d
couldn’t afford motels, even youth hostels, and slept in abandoned
building, under bridges, in bushes in parks, etc., basically becoming a
homeless person! But did so happily as he got to create his new award
winning art in such wonderful places. Nor are some of these other artists
as prolific, as Michael has spent half a decade on the road now. And some
of the art would pale in comparison to some of Michael's work in interest
and intrigue (according to gallery visitors seeing the other art that’s
fetched those high prices.
Here is a link to current auction action:
So when would be a good time to invest in a
Michael Seewald piece of art?
Well, you guessed it, sooner rather than later,
the prices do not get lowered, only raised. Some have gone from $600
opening night price, to $100,000, going to $500,000 after the next sale.
Why, see above info all over again!
Click photo to enlarge.
Here, Echo, a gallery owner in Kunming that represents Michael, applauds
as he gives the finishing touches of emptying the last drop of his
champagne bottle onto the collection of glasses.
photographic exhibition at the Yuan Xiaocen Art Museum in Kunming, China.
May of 2011.
Elsewhere', it showcased some 50 pieces of his art.