Art, especially good art, is expensive. Eric Deis gets that, which is why the acclaimed contemporary photographer is giving away his latest work for free.
"Skybridge" is a Gigapixel panoramic photograph shot high above the Fraser River and encompassing New Westminster, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey. The whole thing was shot in about 35 minutes, and is on exhibition as part of Capture, Vancouver's first city-wide photography festival.
While his limited edition prints usually sell for between $5,000 and $8,000, Deis put "Skybridge" up on the Elissa Cristall Gallery website, where it is being exhibited online, for free download.
“I've always struggled with the fact that many people love my photographs, but not everyone can afford them," Deis says in a press release. "This is my attempt to make art accessible.” Each free download comes in a print size of 40cm (it can also be purchased in a variety of sizes) and comes with a personal-use license that allows the person to print the file on any material, including canvas.
Born in Haida Gwaii and now living in Vancouver, Deis treasures printed art now more than ever.
“Our creative industries are making radical transformations in the wake of the internet and mobile technologies," he says. "Music, publishing, and television have had to reinvent themselves in a world of Netflix, eBooks, and MP3s. Visual art is one of the last holdouts.”
That being said, he appreciates the digital realm; the online exhibition of "Skybridge" was designed specifically for mobile and built using the same technologies as Google Maps. From now until Nov. 15, viewers can zoom into the 360 degree high-resolution photograph—and, of course, download it.
"You can't really understand the effect it can have unless you've had the opportunity to own a significant work of art," Deis says. "Here's your chance.”