Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Building Your Collection: 20x200

The photograph in Franky and Meridith’s foyer was taken by Jeremy Kohm at the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.  Jeremy’s work often includes images of water, including this iridescent Quarry
and the monolithic Star Princess gliding out to sea.
But we really loved the slightly cropped, serene image of the old, luxurious swimming pool, which Jeremy admitted he snapped on his wedding day, when he probably should have been focused on other things!  We discovered Jeremy and his work through the online gallery 20x200.

Now, I’m a big believer in supporting creative friends and local artists.  But if you are just initiating your art collection or interested in expanding the scope of your collection, 20x200 is a good place to start.

Jen Bekman, who also runs her own gallery on Spring Street in NYC, established 20x200 just five years ago.  I suppose Jen’s idea was three-fold:
to introduce young, lesser-known artists to a global audience;
to make original art, by both established and up-and-coming artists, affordable enough for all collectors;
and to rethink art as something everyone can enjoy every day in their own homes… instead of art as a commodity or possession of the elite.

20x200 “releases” new work each week, usually one photograph and one print.  Prices run from $24 to $5000, with a huge selection for less than $250.  I should explain that 20x200 is able to keep costs low by only offering prints… museum quality, limited-edition, artist supervised and signed prints, with archival inks on cotton rag paper.  But still they are prints, essentially copies or renditions, as opposed to original prints, such as woodblocks and aquatints, directly created and manipulated by the artist.
Beating the Rug by Ann Toebbe
is a wonderful print based on her original oil painting.
Vogue JUL07:pg 145 (Ripeness is All) by Lauren DiCiocco
is mesmerizing.  Lauren normally works in paint and mixed media.
I think of 20x200 as part of the great tradition of lithographs and printed artistic portfolios that for centuries brought exotic locales, maps and masterpieces to “the masses” before travel and live media were commonplace.  Yes, I am one of the masses!  One of the masses who is interested in learning more about the world, and how creative people think and see things, and of course, how they convey humor and beauty.  Aren’t you?

Photography is one of those fields I am trying to better understand, so it’s great that 20x200 devotes so much energy to photographers at every stage of their careers.  (Plus, without 20x200, most fine art photography would be priced well beyond my means.)
We considered using Dorthe Alstrup's otherworldly
Untitled, Swamp #2 in the foyer.
If you are also interested in photography and will be visiting Central Virginia this week, check out LOOK3: Festival of the Photograph.  The Festival includes workshops, lectures and book signings with internationally-known artists and exhibits at Charlottesville galleries and public spaces.

Several photographers from 20x200 and the Jen Bekman Gallery will be shown during the SHOTS and WORKS events, including
Beth Dow, from her In the Garden series;
Trees, Hidcote
Todd Hido;
#4124, from the series House Hunting
Rachel Hulin;
Paul Octavious;
Kite Hill
and Cristina de Middel, from her Afronauts series.
Festival workshops start this evening and run through Saturday night.  Most artist talks require a paid ticket or pass, but exhibits are free.  SHOTS and WORKS are projected on a huge outdoor screen at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in downtown Charlottesville, 9 pm until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.  Admission to SHOTS is free, but for some reason, admission to WORKS is $10 a person.

Under Exposed is an exhibition of underwater photographs by David Doubilet,
hanging from trees along Charlottesville's downtown pedestrian mall.
Don't worry.  Even if you miss the events this weekend, Festival exhibits will be on display through the month of June.

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