Destruction: QRST's Method to Sell Art
For artists who work in the public sphere, it is generally a struggle to figure out how to translate what their fans know and love them for into something profitable. Often times, people who can appreciate the work they see for free cannot afford the prices to purchase an artist’s work. However, for the closing of Dreaming Without Sleeping curator Robin Grearson and artist QRST found an inventive way to give these individuals an original work of art at an affordable price.
For this exhibit, QRST installed a mural in addition to the oil paintings that were for sale. While the piece was originally framed to blend into the wall and appear as if it was painted directly on it, in reality the artist installed an additional layer of drywall so that the piece could be removed at a later date. As a part of the closing party, QRST created a spectacle of destroying the mural with a handsaw. Each piece that the artist cut was available to be sold at a wide array of prices. The painting of his two grandmothers was divided up based on what the patrons requested. The most popular sections to be sold were the birds, which went for a mere twenty-five dollars as detailed as they were.
With free beer provided at the event, many visitors stayed until well after the 9pm closing time to watch QRST demolish this original work. What was not sold that night, with the exception of his relatives heads, was discarded. As ephemeral as his wheatpastes are, so were the unwanted parts of his mural for Dreaming Without Sleeping. However, through the variety of prices available for this work, the artist gave those who love seeing his work in the streets a chance to make part of this wall their own.
Text and Photo: Rhiannon Platt