Her Web site is officially called 20x200, but founder Jen Bekman calls her online mart the gateway drug to the art world. The Manhattan gallery owner launched the site in September 2007 to sell limited-edition prints and photography at prices low enough to attract first-time collectors, starting at $20 for a print from a run of 200. Bekman, 39, worked for Internet companies including Meetup before opening Jen Bekman Gallery, where prices range from $1,000 to $20,000. She bootstrapped the now-profitable Net venture for less than $1,000, with the help of contacts who donated time get the site running. She now runs it with a staff of five (plus contractors), who also operate her gallery and a third venture, photo competition Hey, Hot Shot!
that leads her to many of the photographers for 20x200. She splits profits 50-50 with the artists, and her art-world cred assuages artists' fears that their work will be commoditized. People know that I am not just moving product, she says. But the product moves nonetheless. The e-gallery has shipped more than 40,000 prints, with $1.2 million in revenue in 2008.
—John Tozzi (posted on Apr. 28, 2009)