The son of famed Australian artist Charles Blackman gives dealers hell over their complaints about paying a 5% royalty to the artist on secondary market sales, says The Australian:
Auguste Blackman said the system that allowsdealers to made a fortune from paintings “sold for a pittance” early in an artist’s career was “criminal”. He described the early days, “shared with artists and their friends”, as living in the moment. “We were never poor as such, as there was always a warm hearth and food on the table,” he said. “We never thought about the prices going up so high.”
The resale royalty will apply only on works by artists dead within the past 70 years, acquired after tomorrow and resold for more than $1000.
Meanwhile, The Age gives the dealers’ side of the story where concerns are that the government has one particular group of artists in mind when they created the plan:
It is commonly believed that the primary aim of the scheme was to return money to artists in remote Aboriginal communities whose work sometimes increases exponentially as it passes through the chain of ownership. A painting sold in Yuendumu for a few hundred dollars can sometimes change hands for tens of thousands of dollars within a few years.
But critics say such escalations in value are almost unheard of outside the indigenous art scene, and even within that scene only a minority of artists enjoy them.
”The Aboriginal scene has been the most explosive art market anyone can remember, but most of the market doesn’t behave that way,” said Richmond dealer Charles Nodrum.
”Why not put the levy only on Aboriginal art?” asks Stuart Purves, owner of Australia Galleries, which has four showrooms in Melbourne and two in Sydney. ”It has a huge turnover, and that’s where these gains are, but to apply it there would have been seen as discriminatory, so they applied it across the board.”
Artist’s Son Paints a Grim Picture of the Royalty Row (The Australian)
Art Dealers Up in Arms Over Levy (The Age)