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New online art business not looking to sell NFTs

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With record-breaking art sales over the weekend, new art business Artfull is here to reach a wider audience.

This is an excerpt from our weekly business newsletter, Stocktake.

Stop it, says Jessica Agoston Cleary. Please stop for a moment. Does the image in front of you inspire you? The owner of Artfull, a new online business that connects local artists with potential customers, said: “If something moves you and grabs your attention, you have to trust it.”

What if you know nothing about art? Do you need an art history degree to truly understand painting and photography? If you like it, that’s all. ”

Agoston Cleary wants to help evoke these emotions in visitors to her new website. Artfull, which launched in June with her co-founder and veteran television producer John Barnett, offers her gallery experience online. Everyone is welcome, from first-time buyers to collectors, from up-and-coming artists to established careers. According to Agoston Cleary, without a rigid show schedule, artists are freed from the shackles of having to produce multiple works for dedicated gallery exhibitions, which often last only a few weeks. increase. Instead, you can produce and sell one-of-a-kind pieces whenever you’re ready. “They love it,” she says. “Art is she available 24/7 to anyone who wants to discover it.”

Buyers have AR tools that project art onto a 3D representation of their home. In addition, there are lengthy notes about what the artist was trying to convey while making the work, including video interviews. Agoston Cleary says artists are rarely given a forum to discuss their work. Often their work is interpreted by gallery staff instead. “They don’t usually get a chance to talk about their work in public forums,” she says. “They’re the ones talking about it. It doesn’t happen very often.

Artful works include paintings by Ant Yeldezyan, Eliot Collins, and Paul Hartigan.

Artfull launched in a timely manner. NFTs, non-fungible tokens that give holders rights to digital art files, surged in value in 2021, but recently plummeted. On the other hand, the price of real works of art continues to rise. Over the weekend, the Bank of New Zealand sold up to 200 works, including works by Rita Angus, Gordon Walters and Ralph Hotelre, for a combined total of $3.7 million. Many people bought it for double his quoted price.

Agoston Cleary is, perhaps predictably, an NFT art skeptic. “Why are you spending millions of dollars on what is essentially a pile of 0’s and 1’s to store in your digital wallet?” she says. “What are you going to do with it? You can’t hang it on the wall.”

Instead, she hopes Artfull will build a supportive community around the artists who showcase their work on their website. She said many people had a hard time during the lockdown. Some felt creatively stifled by stay-at-home orders, while others saw galleries, often the main source of income, postponed or canceled her shows. “There’s a lot of hope that art is there to lift us up to build society and culture,” she says. “It takes a heavy price to carry the burden of supporting people. [have] Very little awareness or support. ”

But there’s another trend that Agoston Cleary is hoping for Artfull. It’s time to work from home. It’s here, and after years of staring at the same four walls, many are looking to upgrade their spaces by adding new furniture to their spa pools or upgrading their kitchens. We believe that art has an important role to play in making spaces attractive and livable.

“Art expresses more than words can express,” she says. She said, “I have some of her work on the wall that I have had for years. Every morning I wake up [and] This big beautiful bouquet greets you when your eyes are itchy. That’s what makes art worth owning. ”

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