Photography lovers, Post Collective is a concept you want to know about! You already heard from me enough times how much I like Instagram (despite of the currently confusing changes that are going on about it). It is only a few years old social media platform which hugely affects our sense of the world, brings people together and/or inspires several fresh (business) ideas to emerge. Just as it did with Ferdinand Prinz and Albrecht Krockow, founders of Post Collective, which is a unique concept of making photography art available for affordable prices. I got the possibility to get into details about how art can be democratised in a great
chat interview with one of the founders, Ferdinand.
Please tell us about how the concept of Post Collective was born!
Post Collective was born out of the struggle to access high quality and affordable artworks by young and upcoming photographers. As a student in London I could not find more than some generic Marylin Monroe posters or exhibition prints – and that although we get bombarded with tons of amazing artworks on social media, blogs and the Internet every day.
After talking to a couple of artists and Instagramers it became clear that it is quite expensive and risky to sell art prints independently without a gallery. You first need to build a website and generate traffic to it. You secondly need to find your trusted print partner. Then you also need to buy the right packaging. And the worst comes last… international shipping. If the customer afterwards decides that she/he wants to return that print, you will easily lose 100€ on a single print.
Post Collective therefore is an easy plug-and-play solution for artists, that in turn allows young, creative people to buy great art at an affordable price. The core of Post Collective is democratisation – we want to give any young artist with a phone the chance to sell their work – and boycott the elitist and money-driven art world.
Once a photographer friend of mine told me a sharp critic about Instagram artists. He said, thanks to the endless possibilities of instant-editing options (like filters) making an average shot look better is quite easy. There are a lot of people, who normally do not use a camera but with mobiles they take and instant-edit quite good looking images on Instagram. Lot of these people like to think of themselves as photographers – but they are not “real” photographers (he said). What do you think about this? What makes an Instagram photographer similar and/or different from a photographer using a camera?
The main difference between a mobile camera and DSLR or other cameras is that you always have the phone with you. In that sense, it is like the camera-in-the-eye that can catch any moment, almost instantly. This often allows for the more special and authentic motives, but the depth and resolution of the photo obviously cannot compare to more comprehensive cameras. While it used to be a taboo to upload photos from your bigger camera onto Instagram, most artists now mix it up.
What qualifies an Instagram picture to be an art piece and who curates the images?
Our Artist Manager Brando, who is a photographer himself, invites artists to join Post Collective when they have consistently proven to have their very own and original style. We do not focus on one particularly genre, but want to showcase young talents that manage to fascinate thousands on an everyday basis.
How can someone become an artist featured in your project?
We often organize events and exhibitions where we gather local artists together. That way, we get to know a lot of artists and their friends personally, which is always a great way to connect. Otherwise, you can always email us your portfolio or simply be active on social media – sooner or later, we will find you!
What decides the price of the photos?
In line with Instagram’s philosophy, the goal of Post Collective is democratize photography. On one hand, we want to give young artists the chance to publish their artworks. On the other hand, we want as many people as possible to be able to buy high quality art prints. Therefore, the only impact on the price of our artworks is the size in which it can be printed and all artists cost the same.
I have got a picture from you (thank you very much!) and I am pretty impressed by the quality of the print. The biggest size you print is 80×80 cm. How can you ensure great quality of an Instagram photo in that size?
We work together with a very experienced fine art producer who is also working with world-famous artists and photographers. Every photo will be tested individually by humans and specialized software. It is very important to us that the quality of the prints remains the highest possible, which is why we avoid printing abnormal sizes. Luckily, technology and cameras are becoming better and better though. Photos shot on the iPhone 6, for example, can now easily be printed in 50x50cm.
Last week you had an awesome exhibition in Vienna, exhibiting Instagram photographs about the city, taken by Vienna based artists. How was it comparing to your first exhibition in Berlin?
Organizing an Instagram exhibition with local artists is probably one of the best ways to get to know a place. You get in touch with so many personal perspectives and get quite an objective view of the place. Of course, we are learning with every experience, so I feel that our #vienna exhibition was probably more professionally organized than #berlin. In the end, they were both very individual and an amazing experience.
Where do you plan your next exhibition and what is the theme?
Not 100% sure yet, but we will let you know as soon as we know.
What is your vision, where do you see Post Collective in 5 years?
In the long run, we want to continue exploring and exposing new forms of art and new generations of artists that embrace new technologies. We also want to give more young creatives the chance to easily publish or buy high quality art products. Luckily, a lot can happen in the next five years – and for whatever happens in the world of creative publishing, we will be on it.
I am sure looking forward to hear about the next Post Collective exhibition. Check out this awesome picture I got from Post Collective (Body Portrait by Mauricio F. Corridan) – and me trying to reproduce it: