Why a print archive instead of a typical photographer’s website?
As a fine art photographer, Jeff Dunas began to realize that the standard gallery / photographer system was not taking much advantage of the internet and all the potential that it offered. He reasoned that until now, galleries signed photographers to their rosters and occasionally exhibited their work. At most a photographer could expect an exhibition every couple of years. The mandate for the photographer was to seek representation from as many prestigious galleries as possible in order that they could achieve sufficient print sales to make a living and create a ready market for new work.
The brick and mortar gallery concept helped to build and support many great careers but was and is by necessity a selective system. Collectors had to be in touch directly with the galleries to see shows and look at work represented. The galleries needed to develop a strong collector base to keep the doors open.
With the advent of the internet and the facility for reaching photographers directly, the dynamic began to change. It was now possible for collectors to easily educate themselves about a great many more artists than before, resulting in them reaching out to the photographers to purchase work directly. Photographers were thus put in the position of having to act in the roles of the galleries in negotiating and transacting print sales.
Dunas believes that the gallery system is crucial to maintaining a liaison between the artist and collector, though recognizes the great value in collectors being able to “meet” and know photographers personally whose work they collect.
Dunas’ idea, and the idea behind this site, is to establish a system whereby collectors could contact any gallery anywhere and request access to the print archives of photographers they’re interested in. Of course galleries require exclusivity where possible, and therefore there must be a fee paid to the gallery from the sales, with the sales driven by such a site as this – but the idea of access to the works of virtually any photographer via all galleries would seem to compliment the existing structure. Dunas has long printed his own work and continues to do so. Anyone interested in acquiring an image seen on this site is encouraged to contact the galleries they work with. The gallery will be able to contact the Jeff Dunas Studio and organize the sale.
Thus this is not a site intended to promote his work for assignment, but rather, display works available for purchase by collectors via galleries receiving requests for information about works displayed here. If our visitors don’t have relationships with galleries they are invited to contact the studio directly.