As someone who has an intense dislike for puns, perhaps I’m inclined to be critical of posts that land on blog titled ARTiculations, though frankly I can’t imagine a world in which Maggie Frank’s “Collecting Art on the Cheap” wouldn’t push a few buttons. The post as a whole dismisses sites like Jen Bekman’s still to be launched 20 x 200, a project that offers prints at 20 bucks a piece, using the argument that art collectors are people who are largely interested in acquiring social status.
I suppose this idea is common amongst those who have very little knowledge of the art world, (and indeed the site describes Frank as a journalist with a degree in art history specializing in the “average Joe’s” museum going experience) though problems with this line of thinking could have been identified rather quickly by taking the time to do a simple web search. The now famous Rubell Family Art Collection for example was initially built on very little money, and there are plenty more cases just like this. Also, what I find interesting about Bekman’s project is that in addition to appealing to those who simply would like some good art in their homes for a reasonable price, it targets an emerging school of intellectual elitism that matches itself with consumerism. These are the people who poo-poo the overly high brow, celebrate mass culture, and give props to those who are the best at culling the most valuable items within this spectrum. The ability to find designer like items for reasonable prices has never been so in vogue – even for those who are richer than sin.
Full disclosure: I have an ongoing professional relationship with Jen Bekman