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Exhibition at Kult 41: Queuing for inexpensive art at Cheap Art in Bonn

Exhibition at Kult 41 : Queuing for inexpensive art at Cheap Art in Bonn

The Cheap Art event made art affordable for everyone. People were prepared to accept long lines, because works of art were available for as little as ten euros.

When Kult 41 opened its doors for Cheap Art on Saturday evening, art lovers were already standing in line all the way to the next street corner. The queue in front of the former factory building was about a hundred meters long. "You wait one to two hours, maybe longer today," said the artist Stefan Türk, "Every year more people come, we hardly have to do any advertising."

He is one of the reasons for the influx of people. Because with Cheap Art, the name says it all, art is sold here at reasonable prices. In Kult 41 they start at ten euros, nothing costs more than a hundred, next door in Fabrik 45 the upper limit is a thousand euros.

And everything is colorful, the artists, the works of art, the buyers. The artists are local or international, the street artist "1zwo3" from Bonn exhibits here as well as the Dutch artist couple "Pipsqueak was here". Paintings of grim chickens hang next to pink embroideries that call beauty ideals into question. Among the visitors are teenagers and seniors, families and drag queens. If you want to buy a piece of art, you contact the helpers in each room. They wear jackets, with "Cheap Art" written by hand on them, and they carry clipboards.

Everything looks a little provisional, and intentionally: the look reduces fear of contact. The mastermind behind the concept is Jens Mohr. He is an artist himself and founded Cheap Art exactly twenty years ago to offer himself and his colleagues a platform. "I have experienced for myself how difficult it is to be exhibited as a young artist," he says. It's also important to him to introduce young people to the appeal of real art: "Anyone who has an original on the wall at a young age won't buy art in a furniture store later.”

The artists are hand-picked by him according to the criteria of originality, authenticity and craftsmanship. In addition to young talents, more well-known artists such as Jim Avignon also produce their own series of works for Cheap Art. The mix attracts over a thousand visitors every year, including Jörg and his family. He is here for the first time and is enthusiastic about the range and accessibility of all the art on offer: “One has less reluctance to go here than to a gallery". His friend Jenny has been coming here for years for the same reason: "Art is like wine. If the price becomes too high, the price-ratio is no longer right." At Cheap Art the prices were right, with visitors expected to go home at the end of the evening with hundreds of original works of art. Definitely worth standing in line.

Orig. text: Victoria Thiele

Translation: ck