The ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) are, as the name suggests, works of art created with the intention of being traded. They were used for a long time, in the artistic medium as business cards that represented the artist's capacities and were exchanged, in hand, among artists, gallerists and art dealers and others. With this small catalog of artworks, it would thus be possible for anyone interested to learn techniques from other artists, to own a small private collection of art or even to use them as real business cards at the time of commissioning works.
Although there are reports of the use of this type of card in the XVIII century, it was only in the late 90s, by the Swiss artist M. Vänçi Stirnemann, that they gain the current name by which they are known today and come to have their standardized dimensions as 64 x 89 mm (2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches).
Some of ATC's variants are:
ACEO's (Art Cards Editions and Originals) - a version specifically designed for sale.
ATCBJ (Artist Trading Card Buddy Jam) - identical or similar ATC's, the result of collaboration among two or more artists and created in an identical quantity to those involved.
On a Double Buddy Jam, the first artist sends 2 similar ATCs to a second artist. The receiver works on top of those starters, keeps one and returns the second to the sender. A Triple Buddy Jam is rather similar, yet involves 3 artists.
On the ATCs back, the artists may sign and write the date when he received and the date of the art creation among other details.
artart director and curator Monsenhor enVide neFelibata
art consultant Migvel Tepes
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Biblioteca Municipal José Marmelo Silva, Espinho, Portugal