As you may know (definitely if you scroll down) JUST is having an exhibit at the ATM Berlin gallery at the moment. But instead of selling pure photographs, he is selling “Urban Art Sponsorships”. Here is a translation of the explanation (translated from Just’s Blog).
“Urban Art Sponsorship
The ATM Gallery Berlin, in line with JUST’s first solo exhibition, presents the premiere of the “Urban Art Sponsorship” project. Inspired by an interview with Berlin writer ZASD, who shared an anecdote about a former professor of his who bought an outdoor installation and, instead of greedily ripping it from it’s context and putting it behind bullet-proof glass, let it remain where it belonged.
JUST and the other initiators of this project are hoping to enable a visionary interaction of friends of art with urban art itself. The most important part remains close relationships with the street artists. JUST and his camera join them in their action of putting up a special piece. Following, friends of art can take on an unparalleled and unlimited sponsorship for that piece of art.
The sponsor receives an exemplary photograph and a signed certificate of sponsorship, which, framed together, certifies the sponsorship. Just like with other sponsorships, the sponsor pays an agreed amount which is used to support JUST and other artists with their work in the city.
The sponsorship project is not about furthering the already direct commercialization of urban art, but to focus on and keep up the esteem of the artists’ work in public spaces while in the formal context of the gallery. After all, many of the urban artists create their best work on the streets.
But that too misses the core of this project. In general, it is all about a symbolic exchange. The sponsor pays money for a piece of art, even though he or she knows that they cannot claim ownership of it. Just like the artist who has put in loads of time, talent and passion into his or her work, which in turn cannot be sold. This utopic, multiplied moment is the true appeal of an Urban Art Sponsorship. ”
Interesting, I think. Removing commercialization of urban art, maybe. Heading in the right direction, definitely.