I am under no illusions that I will make a vast fortune from my photographic skills… this is Cornwall after all. But there is no reason I cannot use it as an alternative way to gain exposure for my work.
I saw a shout-out for Paris Ass Book Fair – an alternative event that “explore taboos, sex and gender … as playful, poetic and political subjects.” (Palais de Tokyo, 2018). So I thought I would enquire whether my Twenty-Six Framed Penises ‘book’ would fit the ethos. They asked me to send over 5 copies which were promptly sold for £5:00 each. I am well on the way to having enough images for a second edition of the book so I shall plan to have a trilogy naming them in honour of the first three Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin (rites of passage books for any self-respecting gay man); namely Twenty-Six Framed Penises, Twenty-Six More Framed Penises & Further Twenty-Six Framed Penises. If I hand-make the books and limit them to 50 copies each then that adds a very nice cache to anyone who might buy them.
There is another side project that has been accruing images for a few years now. It currently only exists as a blog and I never saw any reason or means to take it further. When my husband came home with a cheap blank fridge magnet to place a picture of the dog within I saw the opportunity to create an outlet for these extremely provocative blog images. There is currently in excess of 300 images on the blog so I could feasibly create an open edition of unique fridge magnets to sell.
Now comes the logistics of sales. Due to the nature of my practice – it has a rather niche market. There is certainly a large enough market but it is not local so I am reliant upon the Internet. Most Art sites like Etsy would certainly not host these images so I am looking at creating a shop on my own website. This is not desperately complicated but if I am potentially selling abroad then it gets awkward to set an amount for P&P (there is only one fixed field for this) and some countries have a less-than-ideal postage service where items can go missing. Then there is the chance of criminal prosecution in any country that would consider my work illegal pornography. So this all needs careful consideration before I can create anything live.
In the meantime, however, I can get these items created with a view to offering them for sale at my final exhibition; along with a potential exhibition catalogue which I am tentatively researching.