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The art market as we know it, could be a thing of the past
Did you know, that your original painting may not be authentic after all? That art painted by women is generally valued lower than art created by men? Or that you’ll likely pay way more for a piece of art than any art critic in the world? According to two Danish entrepreneurs, that’s how the art world works today – but they’re about to change it, along with more than 2.500 artists.
“The artworld is broken”, says founders Anders Cederholm and Mikkel Steen from Danish start-up, Artboost.com. They’re running an online art platform, that among other features, enables virtually everyone to buy art directly from independent artists worldwide, without any middle-men such as galleries. Since starting in 2014, they’ve now taken the step to becoming one of the world’s most promising online art platforms, providing what they believe to be a highly accessible alternative to traditional galleries. So far, roughly 2.500 artists have uploaded more than 13.000 artworks and the numbers are still counting.Press release, Part 1 of 3 (14th of March, 2018)
Market manipulation, racism, sexism.
“For too long, the artworld has been controlled by an exclusive elite, that drive up prices”, says Cederholm, CMO of Artboost. “It’s a known fact that most famous gallerists charge take 60% in commission of your works selling price, creating prices that have no real world basis”, he adds. Moreover, he claims that most galleries don’t show prices, because these depend on the buyer’s wallet or social status, excluding ordinary consumers from buying real art. Moreover, artists seem to be economically cornered by the galleries for years after they’ve exhibited their art;
“If artists are lucky enough to get artworks into a gallery, they are trapped in contracts forcing them to pay for eventual promotion, they've obtained through the gallery. This means the gallery gets to charge commission for all other artworks sold by the artist for a long, long time. That simply isn’t fair”, says Cederholm.
Another huge issue pointed out by both founders is the on-going sexism and racism in the art world. Indeed that has been an issue for years in media. Already in 2013, German magazine Spiegel quoted famous artist Georg Baselitz for stating: “Women don’t paint very well. It’s a fact”.
Mikkel Steen, CEO of Artboost comments: “It’s not only sexism, that’s an issue. The first woman of color to get a solo show at the Guggenheim was Carrie Mae Weems in 2014. Four years ago. Really?”. Artboost claims that their open platform enables every artist or consumer to sell or buy art no matter what gender, social status, heritage or background they have. Essentially, that’s the way they claim to disrupt the current art market, which in their opinion, needs to be more open and accessible to everyone.Press release, Part 2 of 3 (14th of March, 2018)
Everyone has the right to do and buy art
The rather controversial opinions held by the two founders culminate in a fundamental belief in the fact, that everyone should have the right to buy art; “If you’re a buyer, it seems that you need a certain social status or a certain knowledge about art to be able to buy it. We think that’s wrong. That’s why we keep saying that art is for everyone”, says Steen.
Both founders agree that this mantra does not only apply to art buyers, but also the artists themselves, coining the term ‘art factories’ as something they want to challenge through their platform. According to both founders, every artist should be able to get their works out to the public, no matter whether they’re business savvy or not.
Anders Cederholm talks about Damien Hirst and adds: “Damien Hirst has had over 150 employees finishing his artworks. Nothing against Damien, but Imagine paying huge amounts of money for something that isn’t entirely original, just because you’ve bought into the business of art rather than the artwork itself”.
Currently, Artboost hosts artworks from more than 2500 artists based in 100 countries, but there’s still a long way to go for the two aspiring art world disruptors: “We’re just getting started, but with our traction right now and our plans for the future, we’re sure that we’ll make a lasting impact”, says Cederholm. Steen adds, a bit less optimisticly: “As long as we’ve done what we can to remove the injustice of the art world, I’m good”.
Only time will tell, but perhaps now is the time that the way we buy and sell art will be changed for good?Press release, Part 3 of 3 (14th of March, 2018)
© Artboost, Co-founder Mikkel Steen (CEO)Download image
© Artboost, Co-founder Anders Cederholm (CMO)Download image
© Artboost, Co-founder Anders Cederholm (CMO) with poster and art.Download image
© Artboost, Co-founder Anders Cederholm (CMO) looking at art.Download image
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© Artboost, Co-founders Anders Cederholm & Mikkel Steen.Download image
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