The More the Merrier

Are the "published" and decorated prints of Edina's Fingerhut Gallery the same as collectible originals? Or are they exceptionally expensive posters?

"I think it's the marketplace that confuses people as to what is valuable art and what is not," says the Walker's Engberg.

Perhaps it is to be decried that good salesmanship may be putting art into the hands of collectors with more disposable income than market savvy. Or maybe, instead, it should be celebrated that someone, somewhere is selling some art. What matters most in the end is how the potential customers respond to the work when they walk into the gallery, and whether or not they are moved enough to buy. One customer Fingerhut pointed out for this article is Marty Lunde, a doctor from Eden Prairie. Lunde has bought numerous works from Fingerhut and describes himself as fully satisfied with his purchases.

"I like their variety," he says over the phone. "Their workers are friendly....They take a lot of time to educate people. They seem to like the art they're selling and are not just trying to get a profit."

Tomorrow belongs to you: Jiang Tiefang's "Beautiful Tomorrow" (above), from a print run of 375 copies, and assistant gallery director Lonni Ranallo
Diana Watters
Tomorrow belongs to you: Jiang Tiefang's "Beautiful Tomorrow" (above), from a print run of 375 copies, and assistant gallery director Lonni Ranallo

Though this collector admitted he had not gone to many other galleries and that the prices at Fingerhut were high, he said he was confident that Fingerhut had the kind of art that he wanted--and if they did not, that they would know how he could get it.

"My wife and I both have tried to buy a wide variety of good quality art that we both will like," Lunde says. "We've tried to pick out the more unique imagery in each artist's work."

Unique, apparently, being yet another attribute that is in the eye of the beholder.

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