The Woman Who Democratized Art on the Internet

Jen Bekman wants you to collect art. In fact, she wants everyone to collect art. The art dealer and entrepreneur from New York City wants to create a new economy, wherein “people collect art and talk about those collections in the same way they talk about what books they’re reading or what movies they’re seeing or what handbag they’re buying.”

To some extent, Bekman has already achieved her goal. In 2003, she opened her own art gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. But it was what she did four years later that shook up both the art and tech worlds. In 2007, Bekman launched online gallery 20×200, which sells limited edition prints by new and established artists. Though some people were initially skeptical about the venture, 20×200 has sold more than 120,000 prints since its inception.

For Bekman, it’s important to not dilute the quality of the art just for the sake of reaching a wider audience. At present, over 200 artists are represented by 20×200, giving them the additional exposure and steady income they might not have acquired otherwise.

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