What in Christie's Name Are Art Cards?

By now, everyone’s heard of ACEOs, this ubiquitous new trendy trend in the art world that has spread like wild fire from North America to Europe. So, what are ACEOs? Let me put my researcher’s hat on:

(Red Umbrella - F.Barrage©2007)

ACEOs, an acronym for Art Cards, Editions and Originals, are small-scale original works of art, and like their larger counterparts, can also be produced in a series or reproduced in a limited edition (as their name indicates...). There is only one rule to ACEOs: They have to be 3.5" x 2.5" (8.9cm x 6.4cm). As for medium and material, it’s up to the talent and imagination of the artist – I’ve seen acrylics, pen and ink, watercolour, collage, altered art – you name, someone’s done it.
Beyond the hype, the reality is that these art cards have been around forever – many artists do them as a way to plot their next project, as a quick exercise to try colours or techniques, or just for fun but they weren’t labeled as such. My sister, for one, has been doing these for years, way before it was all the rage. At some point in time, quite recently, artists started trading them informally (trading as in give-me-yours-I’ll-give-you-mine) through groups and clubs that mostly formed on the internet. Then some really entrepreneurial soul decided to start selling their little creations on eBay (where else?) and called them ACEOs. So there you have it.

This said, you should absolutely not be turned off of these highly collectible, highly addictive works of art because of their popularity. Some of them are little gems. We all love them, love making them, love having them – there’s a definite appeal in these pleasurable, small, visual haiku. Just like haiku, good art cards are deceptively simple, yet exquisitely crafted. For instance, I’m the proud owner of this little precious bit of whimsy pictured here, and it's hanging in my bedroom. I love having it and no, I am not in the least biased because it’s painted by Fawzan – I truly am in love with it.

Watch this space for more on this, coming very soon – there’s some superb work that I’d like to share with you.

1 comment:

dianeclancy said...

I saw this acronym on Neda's blog and then this grabbed my eye so I decided to go take a look. Interesting!

I have heard of them ... wondering if there is a way they might work well for me?

~ Diane Clancy