Liz Flores. All images © Apostrophe Puzzles, shared with permission
Apostrophe Puzzles is at the nexus of art and accessibility. Founder Mandi Masden launched the Brooklyn-based company in 2019 with the goal of making the works usually confined to galleries, museums, and the collections of wealthy patrons more affordable to average consumers. “I am really aiming to utilize puzzles to bridge the gap of accessibility to fine art and to make art collecting something everyone can participate in,” she explains.
The company, which borrows its name from the punctuation indicating either possession or omission, collaborates exclusively with contemporary artists of color to design 1,000-piece jigsaws featuring their works. In the last two years, it’s released two collections, with the most recent including Liz Flores’s colorful, abstract bodies, the powerfully posed women at the center of Tim Okamura’s portraits (previously), and Ronald Jackson’s masked figures.
Many of the jigsaws, which are printed on 100% recycled boards with non-toxic ink, have sold out their initial runs, a testament to Apostrophe’s mission. “We believe in the importance and necessity of diverse representation in both the puzzle and art world and hope that our collections help change the face of art consumerism,” the company said. Each purchase directly supports the creators— “We are currently at 12% for all artists and hope to continue to increase that number as we grow,” Masden shares—and a portion also is donated to the company’s nonprofit partner, ProjectArt, a tuition-free program offering art classes and residencies in partnership with public libraries.
Apostrophe plans to release four new puzzles annually, and you can purchase available designs and start collecting them all by heading to its shop.
Marianne Angeli Rodriguez