Why One Thousand Paintings Works

Why One Thousand Paintings Works

Reader Comments (27)

  1. Brilliant, Brian!

    Great summation of the efficacy of the “1,000 Paintings” project and a great explanation of what it has to do with copywriting.

    I think this type of thing is going to catch on in a big way. The $1,000,000 Web Page and now this…it’s just the tip of the iceberg for these “urgency” “get a piece now” type projects. I’m sure there will be terrible knock-offs, but also some real sparks of genius. I have to say I’m looking forward to it.

    Thanks for the great post!!

  2. My story is the 2000 Bricks project which launched about a month ago and is very similar to Sala’s, though with a very different product. Charlie’s exactly right about a million terrible knock-offs, and I hope I’ve provided enough of a difference and enough value with my project that it’s not seen as a cheap knock-off; that’s definitely not what I hope for it to be. I’ve had a blast developing my project and hope others will have a blast participating in it.

  3. Brian, I like your brick project, although I have to admit the painting concept hit me a bit closer to home. I’m a sucker for art (literally, according to some of the comments on the 67 post). 🙂

  4. Very smart post. Wonder if any “serious collectors” got any. If I had the dough I’d buy them all. It also has the art world element involved which adds to the mystique. Warholesque.

  5. I’d have to argue the uniqueness point, recycling is an important part of creativity and this is no exception. Ed Kienholz painted prices on canvas which he bartered for goods – each canvas was unique and probably worth a small fortune now. This is just an extension of that idea from the 70’s (possibly earlier) and should really be recognised as such.

  6. Hi Neal. I saw mention of Ed Kienholz earlier somewhere… not sure it’s the same thing. I think what makes this unique to Internet types is slightly different, and in any event, it’s not something you see every day (like most other “me too” stuff in our ultra-franchised world).

  7. Oh wow! I get to be the exception that proves the rule. Cheap sonofagun that I am, I am not interested in this art. This may be irresistable to some, perhaps more than a thousand, but as a consumer, I’m not part of this bell curve. (I’m trying to picture myself explaining to a friend who hadn’t heard about this until he saw a number hanging on my wall why I bought it and why I think it’s art.)

    Are you sure you’re impressed because it’s art, or because it’s a darn good example of viral marketing?

    But hang on to your number anyway. If anyone still has a pet rock in its original container, it’s probably worth a lot on e-bay. This might be worth a lot decades from now as well. Or not.

    But dang! I wish I’d thought of it first.-)

  8. >>Are you sure you’re impressed because it’s art, or because it’s a darn good example of viral marketing?

    It’s one because it’s the other. How’s that for a mind bender? 🙂

  9. It is art if you can’t sell it for more than you bought it for. Everything my 6 year old son draws is art. This is as good – therefore -ART.

    It is a masterpiece if you can sell it for more (like my number 630).

    Enough said.

  10. I still find this troubling. It has value simply because you infuse it with value. I like art too, but this just doesn’t do it for me.

    For some reason, it reminds me of beanie babies.

    To each their own…

  11. to each their own.


    The thing about successful art i find, is it cannot exist in a vacumb.

    This is surely successful art!

    Ming(the artist)

  12. Okay, maybe this is a clever idea, and one that WORKED, so who am I to say it stinks?

    Art is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. But I can’t help but feel this is a great promotion of emptiness, the marketing of “stuff” for marketing sake. So, maybe Sala’s idea is a marketing piece of art, but it feels kind of sad and empty to me.

  13. Um… one question: is this simply good viral marketing or is it an example of solid brand building? Each of the sites mentioned may get some decent traffic and revenue for a period, but a year from now I think many people will be walking around saying, “Remember that 1000 paintings/$1,000,000 Web page/whatever’s next?” It’s this year’s version of the dancing baby or “All your base are belong to us.” What I’m much more interested in is how someone builds a sustainable business from it.

  14. An offer people would find difficult to resist – sometimes I guess just the mere thought of something as limited draws attention. I guess for me what it does is think of everyone who bought it as a community of sorts. Who knows? Maybe they’d even all meet up someday and share stories about it.

  15. Whether it’s art or not doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, although it does make an amusing debate.

    “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it,” seems to fit the bill here quite nicely.

    I can’t help but be a wee bit jealous of Sala…I think there’s a lot of people out there saying, “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?” whether they think it’s art or not…

  16. I decided to buy a number that has aesthetic value, therefore I picked 906. It is a visual pallendrome, in several forms. It was also rather inexpensive when I got it. If this whole project amounts to nothing huge, I will still be happy with my aesthetically pleasing number. I’ll probably hang it sideways to emphasize its universality. Perhaps I’ll illuminate it with a colored lamp to alter the color.

    This whole endeavor is both very observant and prescient at the same time.

  17. I started a project in May semi-similar to the post above called Art4mba.com. I work for a Community Mental Health in Michigan and my boss is retiring. The next logical step in my career path is to take over his position but I do not meet the education requirement. I need to go back to school and get my MBA. With no money and very little chance of school loans happening, I’ve turned something bad into an opportunity for good.

    So here I am selling ten thousand mini-paintings for $5 and includes shipping! My original canvas art squares are unique and they are one of a kind.

    I’m glad onethousandpaintings happen because it shows that it is possible to think or an original idea and use the power of the internet to make it work.

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