For years artists have been searching for ways to distribute their work other than using the traditional gallery system, selling expensive one-of-a-kind objects. Because of the internet and the influence of open-source software artists and entrepenuers are starting enterprises to distribute art to greater numbers. Some are doing this for profit and others not. Below are a few examples. To begin and get a comprehensive overview, I recommend reading the first entry, an article by Faye Hirsch for Art in America about the movement of affordable digital prints.
The Everyone Artwork – Features – Art in America
Faye Hirsch begins, “In the past few years, some savvy young entrepreneurs, drawing both on venerable models of print marketing and a native comfort with the Internet, have succeeded in linking the technologies of Web communications and digital printing—vastly improved in stability, endurance, quality and availability—to market a new genre of inexpensive, mass-produced artwork. While online enterprises plying digital art have been in existence for some time (Mixed Greens and Eyestorm, for example, which sell pricier wares), the new model for e-commerce print publishing ingeniously merges the democratic ideology of “art for all” with the lure of scarcity. The product is digital prints, mainly on paper, each available in multiple sizes, with prices set accordingly, beginning quite low—sometimes as low as $15.”