Auction house for emerging artists lanches in New York – words Bojana Duric
Going once, going twice… sold!
London-based entrepreneur Natasha Arselan reinvented the traditional auction house when she launched the world’s first online-only platform back in December 2017. AucArt focuses exclusively on early career and emerging artists, which finally gives them a platform to get the recognition they truly deserve.
Working with artists from the top art schools in the city, AucArt will expand across various states in the US throughout 2019 – it made a start in New York City last month.
The innovative founder of AucArt spoke to Flux about expanding overseas, and how AucArt has helped many talented artists gain exposure and pursue their careers.
Can you walk us through how AucArt works?
Natasha: Of course! It’s pretty simple, AucArt gives collectors all over the world direct access to discover a curated selection of artists coming out of top art schools both in the UK and now the US, where they are able to buy artworks directly out of the studio. By investing in the artist at the very beginning of their career they are not only getting an incredible work of art but also the ability to follow the artist throughout their career. I’ve experienced this and I can tell you it’s a priceless feeling. Artists on the other hand are given exposure to AucArt’s collectors, they’re able to work at their own pace from wherever they are in the world and sell out of their studio receiving the majority of the funds. AucArt facilitates (international) shipping & paperwork. You can either Bid, Buy Now, or Make an offer, it’s up to you to decide how you’d like to purchase. The work arrives with you within 7 working days straight out of the artist’s studio.
Before AucArt, did you go to many art auctions before? What made you think an online concept would be beneficial?
Natasha: I did attend auctions, fairs and gallery openings. I decided to create AucArt online to gain the highest global reach. The Internet is a tool, not a concept. We do have an offline presence too – we’ve had 3 pop-up exhibitions, and we premiered Gordon Berger who has created the first Block Chain Paintings to mark our US market. We have a residency in London that also launched in March for 6 months where we invite 6 artists to live and work at The AucArt Lab, and at the end of the 6 weeks we host an exhibition, which is produced with a guest curator we invite into the Lab. So it’s really not just an online auction house anymore.
How do you choose or discover the emerging artists you want to take part in the auction?
Natasha: We receive artworks by submissions mainly. Artists create their profiles and are able to upload works for review on their own accord, and if we visit a school and find an artist we’re interested in we’ll reach out. We decide based on the quality of the work, presentation, credentials and exhibition highlights are always A+.
We’re living in a digital age so it’s important to make things accessible online, but do you think it affects the art-going experience viewing the artworks online as opposed to in person?
Natasha: AucArt exists because most people in the world (if not all) don’t have time to travel to each art school across the globe and discover pre-emerging artists, so AucArt does that for you. I think it’s important to experience artworks in the flesh, but they are two different experiences. That’s one of the incentives of The AucArt Lab, you can have the whole patron experience where you see the artworks and meet the artist in their studio. I would say that nearly every work I have seen online has been even better in real life. So that should not stop you from buying art online.
What have some of the previous emerging artists been up to since selling their art through your platform?
Natasha: Oh wow, many of them have been very busy, even the current artists on the platform are featuring in exhibition internationally. I’m extremely proud of our roster of artists, one of them has a show at Takashi Murakami’s Gallery in Tokyo, one has a string of gallery shows up until 2020, and another is represented by the one of the biggest gallery’s in Saudi Arabia, I mean it goes on…
Which emerging artists are currently on your radar?
Natasha: I love the work of Amalia Mourad, Daniel Wheeler, Daniel Fletcher, Yulia Iosilzon, Stella Kapezanou, Victoria De Lesseps, and Ewan Keenan (just to name a few).
For more information, visit www.aucart.com
To make an appointment to visit The AucArt Lab, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘AucArt Lab App’.