Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


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On the Block – Online

break my boxes cropped

One steamy late-summer afternoon last year I walked back and forth across the Long Bien bridge in Hanoi, photographing traces of urban life on and underneath the bridge: barbed wire, paw-prints, syringes. When the French built the bridge a century ago, everyone said they were mad; there was a dragon in the Red River that would never let them complete it. But engineering ? and perhaps luck ? had their way. The Long Bien?s successful construction was a symbolic conquest of the Red River and Indochina by the French. This bridge has been shot, mocked, and betrayed during its 100 year lifetime, but still spans Hanoi as gracefully as ever. I created a select series of the best images from my trips across it.

My favorite photo from the series is called “Break my Boxes” and it opens for bids Today – November 5th, at Noon NYC time – for the first Twitter Art Auction, held by the New York based Galerie Saint George. This first-ever Twitter online Art auction lasts for 140 hours, or just under 6 days. The title refers to Twitter’s requirement that users write messages in just 140 characters, which makes people condense concepts into bite-size bits which are easily digestible in our contemporary ADD culture.

I shot these scattered crates just as the market closed; my perspective and printing transform them into abstract shapes. This unique Artists Proof shows the most important activity at the heart of ?Socialist? Vietnam today: Commerce. Bidding on this print starts at US$95 and final estimates range from US$200 to $300. My print prices have increased steadily over the past several years. Like many of my works, and unlike those of many photographers and printmakers, it is – quite literally – unique. I printed the A4 size Artists Proof pictured above [8.5 x 11.5 inch image size], then a single ephemeral A2 size version for the recent Long Bien Festival in Hanoi.  And that’s it – I will never print any more of this image.

To bid, you can just follow @140hours on Twitter – or you can contact the organizer, Gary Brant at Galerie St. George here. If you have any questions about the print or the bidding process, just contact me here.

UPDATE: I’m pleased to report that my print sold for US $350 to a collector in the U.A.E.

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