Affordable Online Art Gallery Gets Financing Boost

10/21/2009 4:58 PM |


While working on an upcoming article about how people without exorbitant quantities of disposable cash lying around their Park Avenue penthouses can still contribute to the funding of visual art and gather quality collections, one successful project that kept coming up was Soho gallerist Jen Bekman‘s online art store 20×200.

The premise of Bekman’s online art shop—and of affordable collecting in general—is that by eliminating some of the costs that drive art prices to unreachable, stratospheric heights (like, say, the cost of rent for a gallery space in a pricey neighborhood), and making high-quality, artist-approved editions, buying and collecting art can become less of an upper-class investment strategy and more of a middle-class hobby.

Well as it happens, per a piece today on the Times‘ Bits blog, Bekman’s artist editions store just got a huge injection of funds ($825,000, or the price of a Jeff Koons sculpture) from a California-based investment group called True Ventures. Appropriately, the features that attracted the company to Bekman’s site (typically the kind of project investors stay away from) are exactly what makes it a viable model for selling and collecting art: low costs, top-notch curatorship and (so far) perpetual growth in a market where the closest thing to competition might be Etsy.