Some words from the Founder
A while has passed since the last article was published. During these past couple of months I’ve been thinking how to approach this new chapter for Conceptual Projects.
For those who are not familiar with the platform, let me briefly introduce its origin and purpose.
I am Juan Blasco, founder of Conceptual Projects. I started the platform on my own in 2019 when I was living in Berlin. At the beginning I started featuring projects from emerging photographers on a weekly basis. Thanks to this I’ve been able to discover new talent every day which was (and it still is) one of the most exciting things the platform offers. After being doing this for a while I decided to set up a website that could serve as an online archive with all the previously featured artists. I consider this has professionalised the platform and since then has been gradually growing.
Just a couple of months after starting Conceptual Projects I’ve moved to London (where I’m still based) and I found a lot of inspiration in young artists, publishers, galleries and non-profit spaces that contribute to the understanding of contemporary photography.
As my will is always keep growing and offer more opportunities for underrepresented and young emerging photographers, I decided to start writing on Medium as a way to let people know who are the ones opening new lines of debate. Since then, I’ve been using the platform with two main goals in mind:
First of all, to give more exposure to those artists that were featured in the past, putting them into dialogue by finding similar lines of investigation with other artists, creating an interesting dynamic through the written word. That’s how ‘Insights’ born.
On the other hand, I’ve decided to use Medium as a platform to develop my writing skills in a language that is not my mother tongue. By improving these skills, I want to pave the way for an aspiration that I had since I started the platform: launch a written publication.
From its inception, the characteristics of the platform allowed me to explore different ways to promote and support photographers. The most recent initiative that I’ve launched was ‘Editions’ a way to acquire an affordable print by some of the artists that we featured. For me it was really important to offer a space where the artists can have a short run of original prints that could bring them real income and support them directly to continue their works. This section will have a more accurate curatorial line and even if I am always open to discuss the possibility of having more prints by other artists, I have to be realistic and do my best to match their expectations.
Selling art is not something new to me. I’ve been involved in commercial galleries for a long time and I am familiar with procedures and efforts that exist in order to close sales. What I was not really familiar with was selling photography. Or prints. I must say it is quite different from selling paintings.
Photography audience is demanding (not saying other audiences are not). From what I saw after attending international fairs and talking with dealers, collectors (usually) are familiar with technical processes, type of papers, printing, value of the edition… I had this in mind before start even talk with printers. Inspired by this challenge, I promised myself to offer high quality prints. I listened to the advice of artists and printers in order to find the best fit for their individual works. Finally, after a couple of months, we managed to launch the prints.
Maintaining an affordable price for each print was the other part of this whole thing. Buying art is scary. For the majority of the population has an exclusive aura. Something that belongs to elites. They might feel unwanted, but nothing could be further from the truth. ‘Editions’ open up for those people that want to start their collections by not spending a huge amount of money.
What about the future of Conceptual Projects? Well, I’m taking small steps, trying not to rush, reaching new audiences and learning.
I am going to continue writing on Medium. Photo Paris is down the road and I want to keep adding more articles on ‘Selections’ and why not? I might create new sections exclusively on Medium, talking about a rising emerging artist, collaborating with young writers, or having conversations with curators.
Let’s see what the future has for the platform.
Before I publish this non-asked short tour inside my personal thoughts about the platform, I want to thank to everyone who has been following Conceptual Projects and supporting by leaving a like, sending a DM to give some feedback or just simply watching the Stories. I appreciate every artist that showed their interest on being featured and for all of those who saw a potential in our platform and wanted to collaborate with us.