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Self-Represented, The Raw Artist(TM) Wraps Up First $25,000 Month at eBay


RENSSELAER, Ind., March 29, 2005 -- Michel Leah Keck is nothing if not unconventional. Known as The Raw Artist(TM) (, Keck is self-taught, working in a variety of media. Her art is sought after by collectors from around the world. Works by The Raw Artist fetch from hundreds to a couple of thousands of dollars. But, unlike many artists who enjoy similar success through gallery representation alone, Keck has a strong focus on self-representation - and her auction house of choice is eBay, where she has just completed her first qualifying month as an eBay Platinum PowerSeller, thanks to sales at that site of over $25,000 in the last month.

Impressive for one who has been described as an outsider artist. But then, Keck is used to doing things a little differently. She has eschewed the traditional starve-until-you-get-big-gallery-representation route, instead concentrating on Web sales since 2003. In less than two years, Keck has become one of the most popular self-represented artists on eBay, with recent average monthly sales of $20,000. It is not uncommon for The Raw Artist’s works to be snapped up through the site’s “Buy It Now” feature before ever going to auction. In fact, three spiritual paintings from her Prayer Series sold through the “Buy It Now” feature within 48 hours of being listed in her store.

For Keck, “The Raw Artist” holds two meanings: first, in reference to her raw food lifestyle, which Keck credits with saving her life after years of debilitating chronic pain. But The Raw Artist also refers to the very nature of Keck’s work. Her earthy abstracts, collages, recycled junk art, spiritual paintings and intricate circle drawings are edgy, at once organic and raw.

Asked about her style, Keck’s reply is characteristically frank. “I don’t like to be labeled or asked to categorize my work,” she explains. “It is ever-changing. My work has been classified as outsider art, folk art, abstract art, expressionistic and even pop art. It is what it is and changes from day to day. If I’m forced to put myself in to an ’ism,’ then my ism of choice is raw-ism.”

Perhaps the label that best describes Keck is artrepreneur: equal parts artist and entrepreneur, driven to constantly push the boundaries of art and business. But whatever you call her, The Raw Artist is undeniably original.


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