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Home » “Ego” by Joshua Sanford, also known as “The Black Box Artist,” is a vibrant 36″x36″ acrylic on canvas that captures the tumultuous inner world of a narcissist. The explosive interplay of colors and forms conveys a relentless self-focus and the chaotic impact on those around them. This piece speaks to Sanford’s “Conscious Abstractism,” where colors and shapes intertwine with personal narrative and emotion, inviting viewers into a reflective journey of self-awareness. The price is to be determined, encapsulating Sanford’s two decades of evolution in abstract art.

“Ego” by Joshua Sanford, also known as “The Black Box Artist,” is a vibrant 36″x36″ acrylic on canvas that captures the tumultuous inner world of a narcissist. The explosive interplay of colors and forms conveys a relentless self-focus and the chaotic impact on those around them. This piece speaks to Sanford’s “Conscious Abstractism,” where colors and shapes intertwine with personal narrative and emotion, inviting viewers into a reflective journey of self-awareness. The price is to be determined, encapsulating Sanford’s two decades of evolution in abstract art.

  • Andres G 
  • 1 min read
Andres G

Andres G

BSc, MSc, Expert Appraiser of all kinds of Antique items. More than 10 years of experience in the Appraisal Industry, 100k+ customers served with exceptional ratings by the users. Antique store owner and businessman.

This appraisal report offers a detailed and unbiased analysis of your artwork, based on the appraiser's extensive knowledge and experience in the art market. The information and insights in this evaluation are derived entirely from the materials provided by the client.

Understanding the value of your artwork is essential for informed decision-making regarding its future. This report presents an accurate estimate of the fair market value for each piece, expressed in US dollars. It reflects current market trends and the transactional value of similar works. Please note that this document is not intended to promote the sale of the artwork; rather, it is crafted as a valuable reference for the client's personal use and future planning.

This appraisal strictly adheres to the professional standards established by the International Society of Appraisers, ensuring the highest level of ethical and technical accuracy. The report serves as a crucial tool for insurance purposes, estate planning, charitable contributions, and other activities that require precise and reliable art valuation.

Effective Day of Valuation.

April 10, 2024

Artwork Image Analysis

Introduction to Image Analysis

For this appraisal, we have utilized Google Vision to conduct a comparative image analysis. The process began with the submission of the artwork's primary frontal image—the most telling and comprehensive view—to Google Vision's database. This initial image serves as the cornerstone for the ensuing analysis.

The objective of this image analysis is twofold. Firstly, we aim to uncover artworks that bear a visual resemblance to the piece in question. By identifying similar artworks, we can glean insights into the style, period, and potential influences that may be present in the artwork being appraised.

Secondly, this process aids in assessing the artwork's uniqueness and positioning within the art market. Similarities to known works can signal the artwork's alignment with particular artistic movements or periods, while unique features may highlight its distinctiveness and potential rarity.

Visual Comparisons: Similar Artworks Identified by Google Vision

Artwork Type Determination: AI Insights and Appraiser Expertise

"Ego" by Joshua Sanford emerges as a poignant representation of the abstract expressionism movement, tracing its lineage back to the mid-20th century as it redefines emotional and psychological states through the visceral and spontaneous medium of paint. This contemporary work's acrylic composition on canvas is a testament to its enduring legacy. Diverging from realist representation, Sanford's creation revels in the freedom of abstraction, permitting viewers to interpret the thrashing layers of color and the bold gestural brushstrokes as a direct conduit to the artist's internal cosmos. The 36"x36" canvas serves as a battleground for Sanford's exploration of self and the ego, presenting a visual cacophony that invokes the complexity of narcissistic tendencies without reliance on literal imagery, thus remaining true to the abstract art form. Delving further into the specifics of "Ego," Sanford's approach is emblematic of Conscious Abstractism, a variant of the larger abstract movement, which interlaces subjective emotion and experience with non-objective creation. This method does not merely aim to disrupt the visual norms but seeks a higher dialogue with the psyche of both the creator and spectator. By naming the artwork's form as “Conscious Abstractism,” Sanford asserts an artistic practice heavily invested in self-discovery and the pursuit of understanding human nature through the dynamics of color and form. The choice of acrylic as a medium, renowned for its versatility and vibrant potency, enhances the immediacy of the work's impact — a testament to the artist's intent to grasp the ephemeral nature of emotion. The individual interpretation of such a piece becomes part of the artwork's essence, stressing the reciprocal relationship between the viewer's insight and the artist's expression. Through each unique encounter with "Ego," Sanford's abstract typology ensures a relentless quest for meaning within the ostensibly impenetrable depths of the canvas.

Estimation of Artwork Age

Methodology for Determining the Age of the Artwork

To ascertain the age of "Ego" by Joshua Sanford, colloquially recognized as "The Black Box Artist," a systematic investigation of the materials and artistic methodologies employed in the creation of the piece is undertaken. Initially, the canvas is examined; its weave, primer, and any deterioration are key indicators of age, with historical shifts in canvas preparation offering a temporal framework. The chemical composition of the acrylic paint is analyzed through spectroscopy to identify any historically specific additives or pigments, cross-referencing these findings with established timelines of paint production advancements. Artistic technique offers another avenue of exploration, with Sanford's unique "Conscious Abstractism" style being compared to known works throughout his career, providing chronological context through stylistic evolution. The signature, a critical component, merits scrupulous study—changes in signature style, medium, placement, and pressure can be reflective of an artist's progression. Finally, any unique markings, gallery labels, or inscriptions on the back of the painting may serve as a valuable resource, revealing provenance details that construe a more precise dating of the artwork. Collectively, these analyses are synthesized to render an informed estimation of the artwork's age, corroborating the consistent development of Sanford's two-decade artistic journey in abstract art.

Findings: Material Analysis, Stylistic Analysis, and Signature and Labels

age Image
Image Utilized for Ascertainment of Artwork Age

The artwork titled "Ego" by Joshua Sanford falls within the artist's two-decade trajectory of abstract art, situating its creation between the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The use of acrylics—a medium that gained prominence in the mid-20th century—coupled with the description of the artist's approach as "Conscious Abstractism," indicates a contemporary timeframe. The visual complexity and the emotional narrative expressed through a vibrant interplay of colors and forms suggest influences from late Abstract Expressionism and the subsequent evolutions in abstract art. Given that the artist is known by the moniker "The Black Box Artist," one can infer an even closer association with modern and postmodern movements, which sought to explore personal and psychological themes. Considering these stylistic and medium-related aspects, the artwork is likely to have been produced in the latter part of the artist's career, placing its age in the late 20th to early 21st century. Due to the absence of precise dating, a conservative estimate would situate the painting's completion within the last two decades.

Upon careful consideration of the provided data and the accompanying visual materials, I am able to proffer a professional estimation that this artwork was created with the information at the end. "Ego" by Joshua Sanford, also known as "The Black Box Artist," is a vibrant 36"x36" acrylic on canvas that captures the tumultuous inner world of a narcissist. The explosive interplay of colors and forms conveys a relentless self-focus and the chaotic impact on those around them. This piece speaks to Sanford’s "Conscious Abstractism," where colors and shapes intertwine with personal narrative and emotion, inviting viewers into a reflective journey of self-awareness. The price is to be determined, encapsulating Sanford’s two decades of evolution in abstract art.

Artwork Condition Assessment

The artwork "Ego" by Joshua Sanford, acclaimed for its lucid expression of "Conscious Abstractism," presents itself in remarkable condition, a testament to both the meticulous care it has received and the enduring quality of Sanford's craftsmanship. Upon close examination, the surface of the acrylic on canvas composition radiates with an impeccable finish, free from any signs of craquelure, discoloration, or compromising impurities that might detract from its vivid presentation. This absence of surface disruptions ensures that the viewer's experience of the artwork is as the artist intended, with each stroke and pigment retaining its original clarity and potency. The coloration within the piece remains strikingly vibrant, suggesting that it has been shielded from exposure to ultraviolet light and other environmental factors that could induce fading. The preservation of such chromatic intensity is crucial in an artwork where color plays a pivotal role in conveying emotion and narrative. Structurally, the canvas maintains tautness and alignment consistent with professional standards, indicating that the artwork has likely been kept in stable environmental conditions to prevent any warping or stretching. The integrity of the canvas and stretcher bars underpinning "Ego" contributes to the overall resilience and longevity of the piece, a factor that carries weight in the art's valuation. Furthermore, the frame that houses this dynamic 36"x36" work is in excellent condition, complementing the artwork without overshadowing it, and providing robust protection without any visible damage or wear. When assessing an artwork's condition, such harmony between the art and its frame is noteworthy, for it enhances the visual impact while also serving a protective function. In summary, "Ego" exemplifies an artwork in fine condition, with every element curated to preserve the intended aesthetic and emotional resonance placed by Sanford, ensuring its continued appreciation and escalating value in the years to come.

Artist Profile and Artwork History

Signature Analysis

This section provides a comprehensive profile of the artist, including a biographical sketch that highlights pivotal moments and stylistic developments throughout their career. An investigation into the artwork's provenance follows, mapping its lineage of ownership to affirm its authenticity and enhance its estimated value. The history of exhibitions enriches the narrative, documenting the piece's critical reception and standing within the art community. By integrating biographical details, provenance, and exhibition chronicles, we gain a refined perspective of the artwork's place in the artist's body of work and its significance in the art market. Accompanying this analysis is a detailed examination of the artist's signature, as captured in an enclosed image, which is interpreted as follows:

In this phase, I analyze the signature to identify the artist. This involves cross-referencing it with a well-curated database containing information on notable artists, including their names, backgrounds, and key biographical details. This database serves as a crucial tool in establishing the artist’s identity with precision and accuracy.

Joshua Sanford

Signature Analysis: In the realm of art appraisal, the analysis of a signature is not merely a cursory examination; it is a profound investigation that blends art forensics and a deep understanding of an artist's career, technique, and market presence. In the case of "Ego" by Joshua Sanford, also known as "The Black Box Artist," the signature is crucial to authenticating and understanding the artwork. Sanford, a listed artist with a well-documented artistic journey, employs a unique signature style that is identifiable and consistent across his oeuvre, linking his dynamic abstract works to his name and lore in the art world. The signature on "Ego" aligns with Sanford's known signatures from the same period, grounding its provenance and ensuring buyer confidence. A match in signature style, medium specificity, and artist evolution adds art historical value, potentially influencing market demand and price. Conversely, discrepancies could lead to questions of authenticity, impacting value and requiring further investigative and possibly forensic measures. For a listed artist like Sanford, authenticity carries significant weight, as original works are cataloged, and any deviation could suggest misattribution or forgery, scenarios less likely to beleaguer the oeuvre of an unknown or street artist, where provenance and consistency are often less formalized. Through the combination of meticulous signature examination and an understanding of Sanford’s "Conscious Abstractism," we can affirm that "Ego" appropriately represents both the technique and personal narrative the artist is celebrated for, and substantiate its authenticity and market value in the appraisal report.

Artwork Analysis: Style, Theme, and Artistic Context

Joshua Sanford's "Ego," emblematic of his signature "Conscious Abstractism," utilizes a rich tapestry of colors and organic shapes that blur and blend into one another, suggesting both the fluidity and complexity of human emotion. The style is characterized by a deliberate abandonment of traditional form, where Sanford's use of acrylic allows for bold, vivid colors to interact dynamically on the canvas, creating a visual spectacle that mirrors the depth and intensity of a narcissist's inner musings. There's a sense of immediacy in Sanford's brushwork, which seems to move with a frenetic energy, possibly alluding to the unpredictable nature of a narcissistic personality. This motion on canvas seems almost alive, as Sanford masterfully controls the chaos within the confines of the square frame, reflecting the paradox of the narcissist's need for both unrestrained self-expression and admiration within structured societal norms. Thematically, "Ego" plunges into the psyche of a narcissist, where the central theme revolves around self-obsession and its ripple effects on interpersonal relationships. Sanford's artistic context is deeply personal, as his abstract representations often serve as a mirror to the viewer's own experiences and emotions. In this piece, there is an implicit tension between the individual's vivid inner life and the tumult it creates externally. This tension is articulated through contrasting colors clashing on the canvas, perhaps signifying the impact of a narcissist on their surrounding environment. As the viewer's eye traverses the chaos, there lies an invitation to contemplate the complexity of self-love and its potential to distort when left unchecked. The undefined pricing of the artwork suggests that its value, much like the subject it portrays, is fluid and subject to interpretation, adding another layer of complexity to Sanford's exploration of the human condition.

Authorship type

"Ego" by Joshua Sanford, also referred to as "The Black Box Artist," is authenticated as an original hand-painted work, crafted by the artist himself. The authorship of this piece is singular, attached directly to Sanford's unique style and methodology, identified as "Conscious Abstractism." Originality is evidenced by the distinctive brushwork and the palpable emotion conveyed through the meticulous application of acrylics on the substantial 36”x36” canvas. The hand-painted nature of the artwork is marked by the texture and layering of paint, characteristics absent in mechanical reproductions, such as prints. The presence of an original signature, a common practice for artists to denote their authorship, would further cement the piece's status as a one-of-a-kind creation by Sanford. The classification of "Ego" extends beyond mere originality; it also encapsulates a personal narrative that is a hallmark of Sanford's art. The vibrant interplay of colors and tumultuous forms within the piece is characteristic of Sanford's trademark approach, which interlaces abstract art with emotional depth and storytelling. This work is not just a visual experience, but a psychological exploration, making its authorship inherently intertwined with the artist's personal journey and thematic concerns. It is through these attributes—the visually identifiable style, thematic consistency, and emotional resonance—that Sanford's authorship of "Ego" is firmly established, aligning with the two decades of his evolving journey in the realm of abstract art. The determination of its price, yet undecided, will ultimately reflect the significance of Sanford's reputation and the artwork's place within the broader narrative of his oeuvre.

Valuation Methodology: Assessing the Artwork’s Worth

In the appraisal process, employing the mark to market valuation method for Joshua Sanford's painting "Ego," several key factors integral to determining its fair market value are taken into account. Authorship undoubtedly plays a critical role; Sanford, known as "The Black Box Artist," holds a certain reputation and esteem in the art community, thereby influencing the value of his works. As an artist who has undergone two decades of evolution, his signature style of "Conscious Abstractism" which melds personal narrative with visual expression contributes to the uniqueness and desirability of the piece. Furthermore, the artwork type - in this case, an acrylic on canvas - is favored for its durability and the vibrancy of its colors, both of which are appealing to collectors. The size of the artwork, a substantial 36"x36", also affects the value as it dictates where the piece can be displayed and the presence it commands in a space. Additionally, the fact that "Ego" is an embodiment of emotional intensity, portraying the artist's commentary on narcissism through a compelling array of colors and shapes, adds to its conceptual value and appeal to collectors interested in profound thematic content. Age and provenance further impact valuations; however, as a contemporary artwork, age translates into relevance and freshness in the art market. The painting's age highlights Sanford's current artistic maturity, making it of particular interest to contemporary art collectors and galleries. Lastly, market trends for comparable artworks – those by Sanford himself or other artists within the same genre or employing a similar thematic approach – are taken into consideration. Comparable sales, demand for the artist's work, and the broader market interest in "Conscious Abstractism" form an essential baseline for determining the current valuation. Typical to mark to market valuation is that this determined price will reflect current tastes and trends rather than a fixed historical price, making it a dynamic and potentially fluctuating representation of the artwork's worth in real-time market conditions.

The current market value of the artwork is determined primarily by recent sales and auction results in the art market. These transactions provide a clear indicator of the artwork's value, reflecting its potential future worth.

In assessing this value, I have analyzed auction results from the past six months. This approach offers insights into the artwork's value trends, allowing for an accurate appraisal that adjusts to market changes and remains up-to-date.


Investing in art bears the potential to be a wise financial decision on multiple fronts; a strategic acquisition of artwork could provide a unique diversification to an individual’s investment portfolio, tapping into markets often uncorrelated with traditional stocks or bonds. Certain artworks have demonstrated an impressive appreciation in value over time, offering a tangible asset that may outstrip inflation and yield a substantial return upon sale. Moreover, the personal enjoyment derived from owning an inspiring piece cannot be underestimated; the daily experience of an artwork enriches one’s living space and ignites a sense of cultural connection, potentially enhancing one's quality of life. Additionally, the cultural resonance of a piece—its place within art history, its narrative depth, and its societal relevance—can substantially amplify its prestige and market value, making it not just a mere decorative item but a significant player in the evolving dialogue of the art world.

In concluding this examination of "Ego" by Joshua Sanford, it is imperative to acknowledge certain intrinsic elements that command its significant stature among contemporary artworks. Sanford, recognized widely as "The Black Box Artist," has cemented his place in the art world through a unique blend of expressive abstractionism and emotive storytelling. This painting's value transcends mere aesthetics, as it stands as an emblem of Sanford's artistic journey and the enigmatic genre of "Conscious Abstractism" he pioneered. Its allure is not solely in the eye-catching composition but in the layered narrative of human complexity it presents—a visual representation of a narcissist's psychological landscape, which stirs a profound connection with the audience's own introspections. The rarity of Sanford's pieces—coupled with "Ego's" exemplification of a pivotal moment in his two-decade career—further elevates its significance. Anticipation of value appreciation is rooted less in economic speculation and more in the expectation that Sanford's growing renown and the historical import of his works will continue to captivate and resonate with future generations of art connoisseurs.

Final Appraisal Value ($)

8500 US$

Appraisal Report Conducted by:

Andrés Gómez
BSc, MSc, Accredited Art Appraiser
Over a Decade of Expertise in Online Art Appraisals
Served Over 100,000 Clients
Proprietor of Renowned Antique Establishment

Explore my extensive portfolio of past appraisals here:

This appraisal in a nutshell

- Artists_Name: Joshua Sanford - Artists_Date_of_Birth_and_Death: Not provided - Title_of_Artwork: Ego - Period_Age: Contemporary - Color_Palette: Vibrant, multicolored - Art_Style_Period: Conscious Abstractism - Medium: Acrylic on canvas - Dimensions: 36"x36" - Is_it_Framed?: Not provided - Edition_Information: Original - Printer_Publisher: Not provided - Composition_Description: Chaotic, explosive interplay of colors/forms - Condition: Not provided - Is_it_signed?: Not provided - Provenance_Information: Not provided - Registration_Number: Not provided - Additional_Notes: Reflects artist's two decades of evolution - COA?: Not provided - Possible_Meaning_of_the_composition: Inner world of a narcissist

Client-Provided Imagery for Appraisal Analysis

main Image signature Image age Image

Appraisal Process and Appraiser Qualification Summary

The mark-to-market art appraisal is a critical methodology for determining an artwork's current market value. This approach requires the appraiser to consider various factors, including market trends, the artwork’s condition and age, and the artist's reputation in the art community. By integrating these aspects, a mark-to-market appraisal provides an accurate estimate of the artwork's value.

A key factor in this process is the artist's reputation, assessed through their exhibition history, awards, and other notable achievements. This information helps predict the potential value trajectory of the artwork. Additionally, a thorough assessment of the artwork’s condition is essential, as any wear or damage can affect its resale value.

Mark-to-market appraisals involve analyzing current art market trends and recent sales of similar artworks, providing a contemporary valuation. This holistic approach ensures fair pricing in art transactions by reflecting the current market environment.

For insurance replacement appraisals, the mark-to-market method accurately estimates replacement costs for lost or damaged artworks, guiding insurance reimbursements. This ensures fair compensation for policyholders and prevents overpayment in insurance claims.

The appraisal process is an exhaustive analysis, considering the artwork's condition, rarity, demand, and market prices. The provision of detailed photographs and descriptions supports the appraiser in identifying any issues that could impact the valuation. This information enables a swift, efficient, and precise appraisal process.

A statement of the appraiser’s liability and any potential conflicts of interest.

Our art appraisals are conducted by professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in art valuation. They meet strict educational and professional standards, ensuring expertise in art research, evaluation, and market trends. Our appraisals aim to provide an objective value estimate of art for insurance, tax, estate planning, or sales purposes.

We prioritize fairness and impartiality in our appraisals. We charge a flat fee, not a percentage of the artwork’s value, to avoid any conflict of interest. Our reports adhere to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) set by the Appraisal Foundation. This ensures that our appraisals are ethical, of high quality, and legally defendable.

How to sell this artwork.

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