State of the ArtSpace

Amit Baria
5 min readMay 7, 2018

Picture an artist in his 2,000 square foot SoHo loft in NYC, masterfully splattering paint on a full-sized wall canvas…with his foot. Blindfolded. Is this contemporary art?

Maybe.

Will he sell this painting for to pay his $24,000 per month studio rent along with marketing costs to do a show? For a brand name artist, perhaps, but for the average or up and coming — odds are he won’t get the chance.

Art is for everyone, it is global and should be more accessible. As more artists obtain the means to succeed, more buyers will have the opportunity to buy. The asset class can grow, bringing in more participants, without sacrificing the exclusivity that can threaten to devalue current supply.

However, along its path from conception to its numerous owners, an artwork and its artist may face a lot of adversity.

Are Worlds Colliding?

We developed ‘ArtSpace’ based on our worldview that the contemporary art market doesn’t have to remain closed off, it can and should be more accessible.

Our mission is to break down walls and bridge the global art community through developing beautifully designed, technology charged real estate, creating an upscale ‘coworking’ experience.

ArtSpace is for art professionals, primarily dealers and artists, to facilitate closer collaboration, increase exposure and make success more viable by reducing the costs of doing business. Artists can showcase their work in dedicated, affordable gallery space appealing to a built-in network of dealers that can promote them. Rather than expend high marketing dollars to rent long term leased space and attract eyeballs on their own, we provide an economically advantageous alternative.

Dealers are provided dedicated or flexible office space in hot art markets increasing opportunities to discover new art, promote their artist portfolios and drum up new clientele.

By creating properties representative of high end galleries, offering sub-leases at fractions of the cost compared to traditional, combined with an operational infrastructure, flexible office space and a professional network, we bring together an inefficient, fragmented and disjointed market. This is not your typical WeWork model, this is a luxury branded professional community ‘marketplace’ platform for high end contemporary art.

Perfect composition right? What’s wrong with this picture?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

Dealer adoption is critical.

Art dealers are the lynchpin of art trading. Their skillset unique, their rolodexes elite, their expertise and access within the market is heavily relied upon to keep the ecosystem active.

All art starts somewhere. An artist doesn’t have a sellout show on his first series or a multimillion dollar sale on his first piece off the auction block. Dealer adoption is a key to success for the artist as well, opening the door for their exposure. They bring the buyers to the artists, therefore artists are heavily dependent on their support to succeed.

No. Worlds are Connecting.

The value of an artwork is heavily determined by the strength of the emotional connection it is able to create in its prospective buyer.

The artist deepens his connection to his work, filling it with emotion, in hopes to connect with her buyer by provoking a deep emotion within.

Just like the artist, we entrepreneurs must also connect with our target customers on a deeply emotional, decision trigger level. We must tap into their worldview by humanizing and personifying the broad ‘customer’ down to an individual. Doing so enables us to understand who she is, what drives her, what motivates her and what’s important to her.

We must tap into her ‘WHY’ composition.

In understanding what she cares about, parallel to the artist, we in turn can connect our corporate mission to her, helping us develop a customer vision to now make an authentic, mutual connection.

Dealers are in it for the emotional attachment to the art, the individuality, the beauty and the money. Their worldview is that they are the international conduit between sophisticated buyers and fine art, greatly responsible for facilitating trade. More than that, they are influencers and trend setters within their world.

Successful art dealers pour a lot of time and resources into building trust with their client. They are an extension of their client, tuned into their tastes and ambitions in collecting. They are also responsible for aiding in managing their portfolios, knowing what and when to buy and sell. The pressure is high.

Not always acting as the middleman, they take on substantial risk by purchasing, holding and trading artworks on their own accounts. Due to the sensitive nature of the players and product, they more often than not move discreetly. Navigating the art world and its product is incredibly consuming of the dealer, add demanding clientele, and this makes for maintaining the business side of the equation an emotionally and physically draining challenge.

How can we make their lives easier?

Down to a Fine Art

Dealers by nature are innovators and early adopters seeking out unique, special, one of a kind art and artists. However, their model remains antiquated as they must rely on the large, high cost art houses to provide them infrastructure. (Similar to real estate brokerages). Shedding the large brokerage house puts most, if not all, commissions into the dealer’s pocket rather than pay a large cut to the house. This ‘new’ model enables dealers to service their clientele and run their own ‘house’, making it easier to function and ride out cycles.

For dealers to cross the chasm from early adoption to the majority requires a high level of trust in the platform and our successful pattern matching.

ArtSpace is mandated with improving upon the infrastructure of art brokerage houses while making the transition over for dealers seamless, enabling them to focus on the highest level of client service without hiccup:

  • Integrated technology to support required infrastructure
  • Exclusive service professionals in legal and accounting
  • Inventory management software
  • Art storage facilities and full service access
  • Art libraries
  • Gallery space for shows
  • Event & entertaining space
  • Private viewing rooms for clients
  • Building amenities to support a mobile office environment

The ArtSpace model consolidates a fragmented operation into boutique style, full service platforms, all housed within ‘galleryesque’ properties. This provides a place to conduct business discreetly, safely and efficiently, all while becoming more profitable. Dealers can source and market new artists with less friction and risk. This opens up the supply side. Thus more artists can obtain the support and means to conduct shows and feature their work, increasing their exposure and chances for success.

ArtSpace is the work, of art.

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