Image via: Jen Bekman. 20 x 200 website here.
One aspect of the constant “expanding-art-market-is-awesome” conversation I find so insufferable lies in the fact that its growth seems to be spreading entirely across one class of people. Most of us still can’t afford to buy the art we like, and there’s more of it out there than ever. In theory, the Internet could be used to address this, but there’s usually such a lack of sophistication in the work that web nerds like, that “art for everyone” often ends up characterized by gimmick, or hip trends such as LED art, and mildly accomplished pedestrian photography. Compound this with the art world’s general resistance to the web, and unless you’re a net artist you’ve got a rather bleak looking set of options: collect some jpegs of work you like, purchase some substandard photographs, wallow in self pity.
The solution to this problem on some level seems so obvious I figured it was only a matter of time before a gallerist decided to take the Internet seriously enough to capture this market, and indeed, yesterday dealer Jen Bekman announced that she intends to do just this. (Full disclosure: I have an ongoing professional relationship with Bekman.) As Bekman describes her new project, “The concept is simple: Prints in limited editions of 200, for $20 each. We introduce two new editions a week: a photo one day and a fine art reproduction on another….” The 20 x 200 concept works well for me because it means that there’s finally something I can afford that I’d actually want to hang on my wall. Also, I’ll observe that unlike most fine art web endeavors, the website looks like it will be impeccably designed (courtesy of Little Jacket). We’ll have to wait until the project goes live in a few weeks to know for sure, but my feeling is that Bekman’s latest project will raise the Internet Fine Art market bar by a level of magnitude.