Jen Bekman Raises $850K For 20×200

by Art Fag City on October 26, 2009 · 8 comments Newswire

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON

Mickey Smith, Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel, archival pigment print. Image via: 20×200

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.

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  • Wendy Cooper

    Right on.

  • Wendy Cooper

    Right on.

  • Wendy Cooper

    Right on.

  • http://fhwang.net/ Francis Hwang

    Another thing is that while $825k is more than most people just have lying around, it’s not a huge amount for a business venture, especially one that may have a significant technology component.

    Though personally I think it’s great news and I hope she’s able to make the most of it.

  • http://fhwang.net/ Francis Hwang

    Another thing is that while $825k is more than most people just have lying around, it’s not a huge amount for a business venture, especially one that may have a significant technology component.

    Though personally I think it’s great news and I hope she’s able to make the most of it.

  • http://slowconfetti.com/blog James

    i’m surprised there hasn’t been more interest in this story. to my knowledge, the last time a major investment into a similar internet-based business model was with san francisco-based nextmonet.com in around 1997-98. their original business model was nearly identical to 20×200: rigorously chosen artists whose work would be made available via giclee print (the original work was also available) and priced to provide beginning collectors an entry into collecting. the jury panel was comprised of major players in the san francisco arts community (full disclosure: my work was included in the first launch). the company was serious and enthusiastic in the way that Jen B. and her company are described. However, it was not successful in those experimental days of the dirt-paved internet country lane. a 2005 version of the site is currently still up, but is nothing more than the most common of poster art.

    I wish Jen Bekman and 20×200 all the best and am rooting for a success story. we need more of those in this market, and it seems that internet technology can now easily keep up with such a business. so i do see how it fits with that type of coverage, but as technology is a component of nearly every type of new business, i too would like to see more coverage from the fine art world.

  • http://slowconfetti.com/blog James

    i’m surprised there hasn’t been more interest in this story. to my knowledge, the last time a major investment into a similar internet-based business model was with san francisco-based nextmonet.com in around 1997-98. their original business model was nearly identical to 20×200: rigorously chosen artists whose work would be made available via giclee print (the original work was also available) and priced to provide beginning collectors an entry into collecting. the jury panel was comprised of major players in the san francisco arts community (full disclosure: my work was included in the first launch). the company was serious and enthusiastic in the way that Jen B. and her company are described. However, it was not successful in those experimental days of the dirt-paved internet country lane. a 2005 version of the site is currently still up, but is nothing more than the most common of poster art.

    I wish Jen Bekman and 20×200 all the best and am rooting for a success story. we need more of those in this market, and it seems that internet technology can now easily keep up with such a business. so i do see how it fits with that type of coverage, but as technology is a component of nearly every type of new business, i too would like to see more coverage from the fine art world.

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