Not that fine art needs to be justified but an understanding of the elements that go into a stone sculpture is enlightening and helps to understand and appreciate the value of the work of art.
Material. Each stone sculpture starts with a rock. Some stone is found and quarried by the artist himself, imported stone are purchased from various stone dealers. Some stones are rare and others common. Stone has an intrinsic value whether found or purchased.
Time. The biggest factor in a stone sculpture is time. Stone sculpture takes time and lots of it. Stone sculptures require countless hours of hard, intense and skilled work. Even a small sculpture can take many hours to complete. It is literally the price the sculptor pays to create the sculpture. This can be an hourly rate set by the artist.
Expensive power tools and equipment consumable blades, sandpaper, bits all add to the cost of the production of a sculpture. Of course, there are all the traditional expenses of any business including accounting, utilities, shop space, office, vehicle, etc.
Content. How successful the sculpture is when finished. This has a value. This is subjective value both to the artist and the viewer. In my experience, some pieces are simply more successful than others even if the same amount of time was taken on each.
There is the value the sculpture holds in the competitive art world, based on the artist popularity, career stage, quality and in comparison, to previously sold works by the artist and by other artists in a similar size and complexity range.
If the sculpture is successful, it will also transcend all the individual elements to become something special and unique in the world of the mass-produced, it has a uniqueness value that is difficult to determine and is often subjective.
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