In June 2004, I began publishing Thinking About Art, an art blog focused on the Washington, DC, art scene and my place in it. There I published reviews, general commentary, thoughts about my own art and posts about numerous other subjects. It has been and continues to be a wonderful adventure and I've learned a great deal about art and myself.
On Monday I read a story on CNN.com that inpired me to start this blog/project. It's about a man without much money who decided to leverage the power of the internet to get a free house. What did he want to pay for it? Just to barter a single, red paper clip for it. He began with a paper clip and traded it for something else. He traded that for something else. And this has continued for almost a year. He hasn't obtained a house yet but he has gotten a free year of rent for a duplex in Arizona. He is well on his way to acheiving his goal. His story inspired me to pursue my own goal.
As we all know, the art world is an expensive place. Sure, one can find great deals, and my collection of approximately 50 pieces has taken a lot of searching and patience to find. Because I operate on a very limited budget, I am unable to purchase some of the greatest works of art that I encounter on gallery crawls. I hope this project changes that and allows me to own ONE great piece of art. I also hope that this project allows others (artists and collectors) to own a great piece of art.
So here's the deal. To begin, I am offering for trade this digital print (by all accounts my most popular print to date):
Ed. 12/25. Signed & dated.
Image of the print framed here. For the purposes of the trade it will not be framed or matted.
Here's how I envision this to work. In the beginning, I would like to trade with artists who are local (to Washington, DC). I'd like to be able to meet you in person to make the exchange as this will save us all on shipping and handling, and perhaps may help in some small way to build a community. For example, say John Q. Public wants to trade me a small photograph for my print. Mr. Public lives in Silver Spring, MD, so we will meet somewhere in DC, have a drink, talk about art and trade pieces of art. I will then seek to trade my photograph (by posting it here) for something else and the cycle will continue. I hope to be able to eventually trade with people anywhere in the world but when that time comes we'll have to evaluate costs for shipping.
What do you, as an artist or collector, have to gain from this? Well, potentially a few things:
1) Exposure. By participating in the bARTer, not only will I see your work (or that of the artist you've collected) but so will anyone who reads this site (or Thinking About Art). I will post the image of your work, links to your sites, a bio, statement, etc. Additionally, by having your work in other people's collections, it will be seen by an art-aware audience for years to come.
2) Trade up. Admittedly I will be trying to "trade up," but given the nature of art (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) you may very well be "trading up" as well. Hopefully you will love your new piece of art and cherish it for years to come.
3) Community building. I love going on studio visits, meeting artists and learning more about their work. This should be a wonderful way of building a network, of connecting artists from the area, region, country, and potentially the world. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? Who knows... it could happen.
4) Help me. You will be helping me acheive my goal of owning a great piece of art that otherwise I could never afford on my own. And I will appreciate it.
So, what do you think? Would you like to trade? Do you find it difficult to buy art in today's market but you have an abundance of artwork just sitting around gathering dust in your studio? Why not trade it with me? Let's see how far we can take this!
If you're interested in obtaining Jail or have any questions/suggestions, please send me an email or leave a comment. We'll bARTer from there!