What Is YellowKorner?
The revolution in the world of fine art photography is continuing to develop and expand. As the construction of the Metaverse accelerates, NFTs are becoming an increasingly popular form of investment and creation. Last month, I talked about how NFTs were creating a more hospitable and profitable environment for digital artists by allowing artworks to be authenticated, collected, and traded in the same way as physical pieces. As the market for them expands, the importance and value of virtual artistic media will only continue to grow.
This is not to say, however, that art is simply “going digital.” Physical artworks are still as popular and desirable as ever, and creating and collecting them are still viable and worthwhile professions. YellowKorner is an organization which is breathing life into the market for physical artworks at a time when buying and selling tangible media is difficult, though demand is high.
YellowKorner Founding / Mission
YellowKorner was founded in 2006 by french photographers Alexandre de Metz and Paul-Antoine Briat. Their passion for the medium, as both creators and admirers inspired them to form an online collective where selling fine art photography would be easier and works would be more accessible to the public.
YellowKorner is headed by a committee of experts on every style and era of photography. The committee serves as a talent-scouting body, seeking out and discovering up-and-coming photographers and helping them market and share their work with the public at large. This not only offers a wealth of opportunity for contemporary artists, but creates a community and artistic forum where professional photographers can collaborate, teach, and learn from each other.
By printing and selling works from a wide array of photographers, YellowKorner offers both publicity and a source of revenue for artists. This generates more interest in and awareness for the medium, contributing to the health and vibrance of the entire discipline.
YellowKorner Limited Edition Photography
YellowKorner specializes in physical prints. In keeping with the spirit of an online gallery, each work is printed and sold in limited quantities with an official certificate of authenticity. YellowKorner partners with each of their resident artists to determine how many pieces a print run will be limited to, what size each print will be, how it will be finished and presented, and more.
YellowKorner offers six run sizes: “Classic” (5,000), “Colorful” (999), “Large Format” (500), “Giant Format” (200), “Collector” (100), and “Prestige” (50). Each of these correspond to a print size ranging from roughly 60 x 90cm to 150 x 225cm—the larger the size, the smaller the run. This adheres to the rules of distribution and reproduction followed by upper-tier galleries, labs, and professional artists, cementing YellowKorner’s status as a new kind of professional art broker and allowing patrons to own unique and collectable works by their favorite artists.
Prints are offered either mounted or unmounted, framed or unframed. Buyers are allowed some say in how their pieces are delivered to them and can choose to have them bonded to an aluminum backing sheet, placed under hiqh-quality acrylic glass, and mounted to handmade frames of solid wood in a variety of colors. All photographs come mounted in a white matte carefully inscribed with its position in the print run and the artist’s signature.
YellowKorner prices its prints according to their size (and, thus, rarity) and the options chosen for mounting. This approach allows novice buyers to procure smaller pieces at a reasonable price while more experienced collectors can pay top dollar for a much larger and more iconic version. The result is that buyers of all backgrounds and budgets have access to the art they enjoy and the photographers see reasonable and sustainable returns.
YellowKorner Zeinberg Photography Prints
One of the cornerstones of YellowKorner is their printing process. Obtaining photographic prints of fine art photography is fairly easy, but quality will vary widely depending on how these prints are made.
YellowKorner’s prints are created using Fuji DPII gloss paper, a high-grade paper designed for non-digital printing methods. YellowKorner partners with Zeinberg, a professional photographic lab with locations across Europe and the U.S. Zeinberg specializes in large-scale printing using a non-digital process which combines the best of both analogue and modern techniques. Using a Chromira digital imager, photos are projected on the paper in the style of a classic darkroom enlarger. This means incredibly high-quality images with significantly better color representation and tonal range than can be achieved using other forms of wholly digital printing. This technique also allows for the degree of enlargement required for large, gallery-style pieces. In the world of fine art photography, this precision and accuracy are extremely important for both artists and experienced collectors.
Is YellowKorner Good For Photographers?
As mentioned, each photographer who works with YellowKorner is hand-picked by a talent-scouting committee. Artists from around the world are chosen based on the unique merit of their work and given an outlet for both publicity and income.
Photographers of all styles and disciplines are selected, from portraiture and landscape to abstract and still life. Among the top artists are Laurent Baheux, who specializes in wildlife photography, Ludwig Favre, who produces vintage-style images of major cities, Laurent Dequick, who works with contemporary architecture, Ruslan Lobanov, a monochrome nude portraitist, and Bernhard Hartmann, who combines nature photography with scenes of urban decay. Hundreds of other photographers also work with YellowKorner, covering subjects from mountaineering to pop culture.
The work and projects of YellowKorner’s photographers are showcased regularly in their online magazine/blog. Here, new and recurring themes are explored, showcasing works from a variety of artists which revolve around a central idea. This encourages collaboration and in a sense creates a series of virtual exhibitions. Other articles promote new artists, provide spotlights for individual photographers, elaborate on specific genres, and generally provide a narrative and conceptual cohesion to the whole project. It is also one of the key means by which publicity is generated for YellowKorner’s select artistic pool.
Photographers can only be invited to work with YellowKorner, but once a part of their cadre of artists, they have a great deal of freedom in presenting and selling their work. Photographers choose which photos to sell, how large print runs will be, how pieces will be priced, and more. This kind of freedom leaves the creative process intact while providing the tools for more and greater success and recognition.
As with most online businesses, the reviews for YellowKorner are mixed. At the time of this writing, on TrustPilot, YellowKorner has 57% positive reviews and 43% that range from average to bad. Unfortunately, large companies and brands often lose sight of the little things and forget the customer when it comes to customer service. The first review on TrustPilot describes poor customer service and the second calls them burglars and describes the nightmare they endured working with them.
Big Business Vs. Aaron Reed Luxury Fine Art
This is an unfortunate reality of many businesses large and small. They say you can't please everyone. I disagree with this statement. If you put your customer first, the relationship will always be a positive one. This is why the absolute best way to ensure you receive beautiful and high quality limited edition artwork is to work directly with artists who have proven time and again that their artwork and their customer service is second to none. This is just one of the reasons you should consider working with me at Aaron Reed Luxury Fine Art.
YellowKorner Limited Edition Photography Prints
YellowKorner’s mission goes beyond just offering physical prints, however. In addition to their online marketplace, they also operate dozens of brick-and-mortar gallery spaces across four continents. These serve the same purpose as the online store, but provide the more intimate and immersive experience of an established gallery for a clientele spanning dozens of countries.
Opportunities for customization are diminished in these galleries, of course, but prospective buyers get the chance to see pieces with their own eyes—how they affect the aesthetics of a space, how they look under proper lighting, how large they are, how the colors come across, etc. These galleries are also an effective means of bringing new artists to the attention of older and more established circles of critics and collectors who may not yet have entered into the world of online art marketplaces.
Who Are YellowKorner's Competitors?
YellowKorner is not just another place to buy art photography online. There are dozens of websites which offer fine art for sale, but none combine the gallery ethic with precision printing and artist-focused publicity and management.
Art.com Painings, Posters & Photography
Art.com is a huge online purveyor of art of all kinds from painting and photography to posters and more. They offer a fantastic variety, but focus on the artists and the production process is low. Much of the available work is by famous artists like Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, or Frida Kahlo. Contemporary artists working with the company are mentioned, but their work is overshadowed by the number of established (and often deceased) artists whose pieces are also sold. As well, there is little to no information about the printing process for either photographs or canvas reproductions, leaving one to guess at the quality of the items they purchase.
FineArtAmerica Prints & Decor
The story is much the same with FineArtAmerica, but with even less attention being paid to the artists who list there. Prints and decor are listed by subject matter and format—everything from science fiction to celebrities on everything from canvas to shower curtains. Artists can only be located through the small “featured artists” tab in one of the drop-down menus, and everything is created at one of the company’s sixteen “global production facilities.”
Art.Net Professional Photography Curation
ArtNet is a much more serious organization, dedicated to professional curation in both a real-world and online gallery setting. Spotlights are placed on the artists themselves and a wide variety of media and subject matter is covered. The difference is that ArtNet is more of an online auction house, performing detailed research on works by famous and established artists to help broker purchases of unique art pieces for prices far beyond what most can pay.
And Then There Is Etsy
Most of us have dealt with Etsy at one time or another. Etsy sells everything from jewelry and furniture to clothing and art. While effective as a more down-to-earth alternative to Amazon or eBay, Etsy is not focused on curation or artist promotion. Many of the vendors on Etsy are companies, and while fine artists may sell on the site and make good profits, they must generate their own publicity and set up their own production processes.
So Is YellowKorner Good for Photographers?
YellowKorner is, thus, something unique and incredibly valuable for art photographers. No other platform places such emphasis on the artist while at the same time helping to make their work available to the wider public. YellowKorner’s mission showcases the ideal relationship between artist and curator/vendor, and their success in the past fifteen years demonstrates the real-world viability of this system and the vitality of the physical-art market in general.
Aaron Reed Luxury Fine Art
As an independent artist, I showcase and sell all of my own work exclusively. I was invited to work with YellowKorner as an artist a few years ago and turned down the opportunity. My greatest asset and greatest reward for collectors of my work is the ability to work with them directly from start to finish on every project I take on. There are no middlemen, to gallery directors or sales associates. As a collector, you can speak with me directly at any time before or after a sale. My customer service record is flawless. I am very proud to say I have never had an unhappy customer.
When it comes to online sales of large format nature photography prints, I am one of the most successful artists in business today. I am honored to have my work in thousands of homes and offices around the world. While YellowKorner may be great for photographers and offer a wide selection for its clients, they will never be able to offer the personalized attention to detail or the direct communication that I offer my clients. My business model will never change. I invite you to view more of the limited edition landscape photography prints that I offer and encourage you to throughly research those you look to buy art from today.