My name is Paul and I am addicted to Ebay. We all have our addictions, in some form or another, but I got it bad for Ebay. This weekend, I literally spent, all in the name of "research," twenty hours browsing various auctions, becoming familiar with the "bay"scape, and pretty much avoiding housecleaning, laundry and eating. I think I might have lost ten pounds, which would not necessarily be such a bad thing, given that the winter blahs were severe this year. The truth is that I had hoped to read a little bit, get caught up on some things, go grocery shopping. None of that happened.
Today was particularly slothful as I just sat in my armchair, fused to my laptop, overloading on all the art for sale online. Interestingly, I discovered a whole subculture of people who buy small paintings of about 2.5" x 3.5" that are called ACEOs. They are meant to make art affordable to anyone. And, for the most part they are. Most ACEO auctions start out between 99 cents and $9.99 plus shipping and handling, but prices can rise quickly, especially in the last five minutes of bidding.
It's pretty incredible that people can now buy fine art without ever having to step into a gallery--a brilliant way for lesser-known artists, who can't find, or don't want representation, to market themselves. There are hundreds of ACEO artists on Ebay. And while a great deal of the ACEOs I found online were crap done by people who call themselves artists, many of them were very lovely and whimsical. It's amazing that people can paint something that small and have it result in something of such clarity and beauty. These pieces, which can be originals or reproductions of originals by the artist, commonly come in protective plastic sheets and can be displayed or kept in an album. What a great way to enjoy art and save space at home!
Crap or no crap, the competition from avid ACEO collectors to buy can be very tough. I was a pretty tough bidder today, and the time spent definitely paid off. I was able to purchase a ACEO of a famous artist who lives in Phoenecia, New York, one of my new favorite places to visit Upstate. He is known for creating beautiful animal and Native American art. Normally, I don't collect works along this theme, but I do happen to have a few Native pieces of art, which I treasure. This lovely portrait will blend nicely with those items as well as with the other portraits and landscapes that I own. In the end, I paid $10 for the painting, so not only did I get a piece of truly "fine" art, I got a bargain. I'm guessing that rehab to get me off of Ebay, on the other hand, may cost me just a bit more.