Donate to This Kickstarter, Get Turned Into Important Net Art

January 28, 2013 | Andy Cush

Canadian artist Jeremy Bailey would like you to know that you’re appreciated–if you give him money, that is. So he’s taking to Kickstarter, creating augmented reality portraits of any backer willing to donate $149 or more to help put on his next show, an exhibition of portraits of Kickstarter backers. Convenient!

The whole thing is equal parts sendup of the commerce-driven art world and loving tribute to the glory days of Renaissance donor portraits. Bailey plays his World Famous New Media Artist persona extremely straight, which is bound to make you either chuckle or grimace, depending on your disposition (see the video below). “I’ve been an artist long enough to know that art is about who pays for it,” he writes on Kickstarter. “How can important people be satisfied helping others without being recognized themselves? The powerful and wealthy patron should be celebrated the way they have been in the past, in grand portraits commissioned and hung on the walls of museums and galleries.”

For $149, you get a “SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT PORTRAIT” (4×6), for $499, a “REALLY IMPORTANT PORTRAIT,” (8×10), and so on, all the way up to the “MOST IMPORTANT PORTRAIT” (42×58) at $1,999. A Bailey puts it, there are “seven levels of support that make it easy for you to reveal your inner essence and help me bring this exciting new and important series of work to life.”

Important Portraits, Jeremy Bailey, April 4-May4, Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto