In June we launched an art CSA, which sold out in just two days. Six photographers were commissioned to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sold 50 shares. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. A few weeks ago we shipped the second two photographs to shareholders, and last week we sold out of shares for our second round CSA, again in just days!!
The above photograph, Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagons West Party, 2014 by Jennifer Greenburg, is one of the two most recent shipped to shareholders. Jennifer talks briefly about her CSA experience in this interview with us:
Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?
I had heard of an art CSA but only within the confines of the history of early 20th Century photography. Breathing the breath of the 21st Century into the concept excited me instantly. I am delighted to have been part of this first incarnation. I am interested in participating in almost anything that moves the way we think, use and interact with photographs forward!
What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?
I make work in order to facilitate a conversation with my audience. If my work only exists in a flat file drawer in my studio, then I might as well have not made anything in the first place. I own the work of other artists for the same reason. I want to wake up in the morning and be reminded, visually, of something that I find important. One of my most cherished possessions is a print of Wall Street, New York, 1915 by Paul Strand. It was my first art purchase. I had been studying and teaching the work of Paul Strand for fifteen years when Aperture made an edition of an image that most resonated with me available for sale. I jumped at the chance knowing that, even though it felt a little expensive, all I had to do was skip a few meals out and a pair of shoes I probably did not need in the first place to make it happen. That photograph had held an important place in my development as an artist, adult and educator. It warranted a physical place in my daily life. I hope that my work will be owned by someone who will find it meaningful, and this program opens up the door for that to potentially happen.
How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?
The experience has been fantastic. I was so pleased when the shares sold out so quickly– the instant demand really gave the program incredible validation.
I hope that participating will allow my work to get into the hands of new collectors who might not have been familiar with my work or into the hands of those who have previously worried about the idea of collecting. Buying art is an extremely intimidating process due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is the expense! I hope that this program will encourage new buyers to support artists through collecting. The CSA has made it both affordable and painless for many to begin. And sometimes offering a first step is all it takes!
Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work.
The piece I created for the CSA is called, Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagons West Party, 2014. It is part of my larger series, Revising History. Revising History is a series of manufactured images created by replacing the individuals in vintage found-negatives with images of myself. I reference the gestures within the original image as a means of taking ownership of that moment. I appropriate the mood and emotions of each event, becoming a musician, a mother, a corpse– even though I am none of those things. My work is a performance that results in a series of manufactured photographs that are inherently counterfeit.