Some students from the Hartford Photograph MFA are doing a print sale to raise money for good causes, so clicked on it and said Arrrrrrrg.
These are MFA students, from the institution where Colberg has been teaching so, really, I ought to have known what to expect. At $100 for an 8x10 print these are, generally speaking, about $110 overpriced. In the sense that if you got pushy I might be persuaded to give you $10 to not send me your print.
Ok, so some are vaguely pleasing pictures, there's a lot of snapshots of nothing, and there's a handful of sweet jesus tear out my eyes in there. Of course there are. It is exactly what it says on the tin.
Any of these could, obviously, make sense and be meaningful in the right setting, and it's possible albeit unlikely that any of these people have accomplished such a setting. Regardless, a bare 8x10 print is definitely not it. I guess it might make sense as an add-on to the book the artist gave you?
On the one hand this is certainly a bunch of basically nice people seeking to help out a cause, and for that they ought to be commended.
On the other hand at least some of these artists are also seeing this as a chance to shift some work. No, they won't make any money, but let's be honest money isn't the point. They hope to gain some little ego boost by selling a few prints. They may even hope that someone Notable will buy a print for a good cause and, somehow realize how Important and Necessary the work is, and something good will result. Heck, it could even happen.
Every arts collective thingy on earth is running one of these, for more or less the same complex of reasons.
I don't mean this as a condemnation particularly. People are complex things, and we do things for many reasons. It is rare that there is not some self-serving facet of a thing.
It's just that in this case is was specifically brought home to me. These are unlovable objects, these are not objects that these artists have really sold many of, if any. I recognize some of them as authors of thoroughly unlovable books that almost certainly sold in very small numbers. The venality of trying to piggy-back on a cause du jour pretty much leaps off the page.
I'd suggest that if you really approve of the cause that you buy a print anyways, except that I have a better idea which is: just donate $100 directly.
The kids are deducting the cost of printing and postage from your $100, so unless you really want one of these pieces of shit, just send money.