Little Collector

March 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Probably the weirdest, and most out-of-the-box-thinking of recent art sites to capitalize on the 20×200 model is Little Collector.

LC conjures up a variety of emotions for me. On one hand, it’s utterly brilliant — I mean, there isn’t really any art marketing (in terms of sales of art) being done directly to kids. I mean, yeesh, talk about your untapped market. And it’s really great to see someone do something with this aforementioned model that is different than, say, completely ripping off what 20×200 already does, even if it’s just shifting the audience it’s geared to. And of course I love the idea of exposing kids to art.

On the other hand, I should be honest with one of my deeply-held beliefs: I find all marketing to kids to be creepy. Doesn’t matter if it’s cereal or action figures or limited edition prints, I just think that the less conspicuous consumption is taught, the better.

And then there’s also this: in a culture that is seemingly watering-down everything to appeal to a lowest common denominator, I’m a little nervous about the idea of contemporary artists making work that is geared to a (say) 7 year old audience. Children are not stupid; they are often more sophisticated and culturally literate than the grown ups around them. But in order for the transaction to actually work, the child must first see the print online, and then convince Mom and/or Dad to buy it for them. Which means it first has to pass the scrutiny of the child’s taste, and then past the what-Mom-thinks-is-ok-to-have-on-the-wall-in-my-room taste. That starts getting infinitely more complicated, more about decor and what grownups want to project onto their children, and also a lot less about the actual artwork and developing an appreciation for contemporary art.

I don’t know. I’m a little baffled by it.

***

Update, 4/26/11:

I got an email from Chrissy Crawford of Little Collector, who wrote to me the following:

Hi Amy, 

I came across your blog post this weekend and wanted to get in touch with you about LittleCollector. While I truly appreciate the thoughtful post, I think you might have the wrong idea about our mission. I started LittleCollector as a way to make (interesting) art for kids accessible for families – as an alternative to Disney posters and commercial wall art. We decided to produce prints to make the work as affordable as possible and chose to be a virtual gallery to reach parents outside of New York. I wanted families across a broad range of economic means and geographical locations to be able to engage their children with art and make it part of their homes. Lastly, a portion of all proceeds goes to RxArt and their work in hospitals. 
Anyway, I just did not want you to have the wrong idea. LittleCollector is a project near and dear to our hearts and I would love for you to stop by and see our prints and meet our team. We like full transparency and are completely open to questions and discussion. Our office is on Chrystie and Stanton (LES) and please stop by anytime. 
Cheers, 

Chrissy

I told Chrissy that I’d publish her email, so that readers of this blog could see another side to the story. I hope to check out what they’re up to in person sometime soon, and to report back!

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