5 November 2009
Wall to wall
Millennium Print Collection at Brighton’s Crane Kalman gallery
Founded in 1998 by photographer and lecturer Jason Shenai, Millennium Images offers more than 20,000 contemporary photographic images for use by the publishing industry, writes Liz Farrelly.
It’s a one-stop shop for imagery and rights clearing, and represents more than 500 photographers, both up-and-coming and world-class talent. Chances are you’ve seen Millennium Images photographs – by people-oriented Magalie Nougarede (top), Poppy de Villeneuve (above, sister of the illustrator Daisy, daughter of photographer Justin) or Andre Thijssen (below) – used on book jackets and in magazines and newspapers, from the Guardian to The New Yorker.
This month sees the launch of ‘Millennium – The Print Collection’, a new initiative in partnership with Brighton’s Crane Kalman Gallery. On offer is a diverse range of limited-edition prints, featuring the work of Millennium Images photographers. I talked to Richard Kalman at last night’s launch.
LF: How did you and Crane Kalman Gallery get involved with the Millennium Print Collection?
Richard Kalman: I approached Jason Shenai late last year to propose the idea of putting together a Print Collection from some of the artists that Millennium Images works with. I had always been impressed with the quality of work and calibre of photographer they collaborate with, and thought there was a real opportunity to use the well-regarded name of Millennium as a ‘stamp of approval’ for good quality prints by these well respected, fine art photographers.
Above: image by Christoph Bolten.
LF: In comparison to other ways of collecting work by these photographers, e.g. going directly to their representative galleries, what’s the advantage of using the Print Collection?
RK: Another reason for starting the Millennium Print Collection was that many of the photographers do not have gallery representation. Many have had their work featured in exhibitions, but don’t have an ongoing relationship with one particular gallery. The Print Collection would allow for a continuous outlet for their print sales, over and above any specific exhibitions they might be involved in.
LF: What print-sizes are being offered? Are they hand-printed?
RK: In the main, prints will be in one size only and in editions of ten. A few photographers already have existing edition structures in place from previous exhibitions (and these will remain the same), but again, many of the 500 photographers, linked to Millennium Images, haven’t presented work in a commercial art gallery context or previously set up edition structures. Some photographers will hand print images; others are digital prints.
LF: Is the market for fine art photography prints growing?
RK: In the UK, the market for fine art photography is still growing, and playing catch-up with the US and continental Europe where there is a far greater and more established market for photography. Much contemporary art is leaving the 2D image behind, but there is still interest from people wanting to buy and own collectable works of art, for their homes and walls; and attention is shifting towards photographic art as a recognisable, developing and visually exciting medium for representational artwork.
LF: Do you envisage the designers, publishers and authors who’ve used some of these images for covers and publications to actually buy prints too?
RK: That would be a nice!
Crane Kalman Gallery, Brighton, 38 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton. 01273 697096