Speaking of the ways in which women are covered by the press, we’ve noticed that news of Jen Bekman’s raised Venture Capital funding for her fine art editions website 20×200 has gone virtually unreported by the art world. This isn’t overly surprising, though contrary to the suggestion of this lead, I doubt it has too much to do with gender. The fine art profession as a whole operates without the transparency of most fields, so operating differently can place one outside that circle. I can’t, for example, remember ever reading a report citing the specific amount a gallery garnered through angel investors (though it may happen and I just haven’t seen it). Jen Bekman announced last week she received a total of $825,000 from figures such as Tony Conrad (True Ventures), Caterina Fake (CEO Hunch, co-Founder Flickr), Scott Heiferman (CEO/Founder Meetup), David Mahoney (SFMOMA Board of Trustees member & super angel investor), and Nion McEvoy (CEO of Chronicle Books & SFMOMA Board of Trustees member). This is a big deal.
Conventionally though, these numbers and business model slate the story as technology news. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of this kind coverage circulating the fine art world; to date, only Lindsay Pollock has blogged the subject. The more transparency we can add to the profession the better.
Disclaimer: I am friends with Jen Bekman.