“Buy with your eye and trust your taste”; a shrewd piece of advice offered by gallery owner Bill Powers, the man behind Exhibition A, the recently launched online platform for collecting art.
Working directly with well known artists including Terence Koh, David LaChapelle, Richard Phillips, Nate Lowman and Josephine Meckseper, Exhibition A creates limited-time, open editions of the artists’ work, with each copy stamp-signed and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Sales are scheduled every two to four weeks and all pieces are priced between $100 and $500. Available from today is a special limited print by poet and painter Rene Ricard, in an edition of 100, signed and numbered by the artist, available framed or unframed.
Exhibition A is the brainchild of Powers, his wife Cynthia Rowley, and partners Laura Martin and Gabby Munoz. Powers, an editor, curator and the owner of Half Gallery in New York, is also a judge on US reality TV show Work of Art. i-D recently caught up with him on the Lower East Side.
What’s the concept for Exhibition A? Temporary contemporary, by which I mean limited-time prints from America’s top artists including Richard Phillips, David LaChapelle and Hanna Liden.
Which artists are you working with? Everyone from Nate Lowman to Josephine Meckseper to Sean Landers. Mostly artists I’ve either worked with at Half Gallery or whom I personally collect or am friends with.
What makes a great collection? I think it’s really an extension of someone’s personality/world view. People who put a premium on romance might favour a Rene Ricard piece (“But you love me… you said so”) while others might enjoy Terence Koh’s “Big White Cock” (hold on now, that’s the print of his rooster light sculpture). Or, a nature lover could lean towards Mark Borthwick’s photography.
You were one of the judges on Work of Art, a reality competition TV show about emerging artists. Is there a growing interest from the general public in artists and collecting. If so, why? Look at how fashion was supersized in the last twenty years, and how many high-end designers created more accessible collections. There’s no reason that can’t happen with art. Most people simply lack a point of entry to the art world.
Are there advantages to shopping for art online rather than attending an auction? Straight-up convenience…..and, besides, dealers are already selling art over the Internet, by sending collectors jpegs of works that go for a hell of a lot more than what we offer on Exhibition A.