ARTSHOP

How does an object have meaning? Why do we own objects? How do we consume, acquire, or collect objects? How does art become or maintain its relevance? These questions are central to my practice.

I started ARTSHOP in 2004 as a way of organizing, exhibiting, and sharing art products: those things made by artists which are not necessarily fine art, not simply reproductions of fine art, and not craft; the by-products, ephemera, and small objects of contemporary visual artists. Art Product is a family that includes the following genera: ephemera, publications, multiples, and small art. I often explain it as the things artists make that are not their primary work, but that do embody their vision, aesthetic, and ideas.

The project is informed by Claes Oldenburg 1961’s The Store, in which the artist converted his workshop in New York’s Lower East Side into a retail storefront and stocked it with painted pop sculptures made out of muslin and plaster. From 2002 to 2005, the concept was re-interpreted by Joyce Yahouda, a gallerist in Montreal. The Store explored the inherent tension of art presented as commodity. ARTSHOP is also informed by Toronto’s Art Metropole, a project started in 1974 by General Idea that documented the conceptual art movement in Canada by collecting (and sometimes selling) contemporary art multiples and ephemera; and by Printed Matter in New York, which was founded in 1976 by a collective of artists and art workers seeking to examine the role of artists’ publications in the landscape of contemporary art.

ARTSHOP has three parts: a collection of approximately 200 art products that have been permanently acquired; collaborations with artists whose work is for sale through ARTSHOP; and art products that I have made. Since 2004, ARTSHOP has been presented as an online magazine and shop; as a time-limited exhibition in an art gallery context; as part of larger art events and fairs; and in ongoing installation at two commercial art galleries. While most contemporary art employs luxury marketing strategies in its sale and presentation, ARTSHOP uses the vernacular of retail to present art to the viewer. North Americans are fluent in the visual language of retail and as a result, interact with art presented in this manner differently. Online, ARTSHOP has explore a variety of models from using social media to promote and sell art products to a subscription model that engages the audience for a year at a time.

An art product is not complete until it is sold. This is not unprecedented in contemporary art. Yves Klein’s Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle (1959-1962) divorced art from object and placed art in the milieu of ritual by selling empty space. The sale of the space was the art. I would argue that the sale of Damien Hirst’s work is as important as the work itself. For the Love of God transforms $24 million in diamonds into a $100 million piece of art, but the work was not completed until it was sold on August 30th, 2008.

The sale of the art products in ARTSHOP completes the objects and a significant component to this project is devoted to the selling of art products. To date, ARTSHOP has existed primarily in the context of art (galleries, art fairs, events, etc.) where the audience has engaged the project prepared to have an experience of art. The introduction of retail theory into space primarily using luxury marketing strategies is profound. Some patrons reject the idea outright and walk out of the gallery. Others transform completely. They remove their hands from behind their back and begin touching objects and looking at them differently. The exchange of money for product is a performative act that completes the work.

In 2013, I started doing INSTANT ARTSHOP, a version of the project as an intervention outside of an art context: flea markets, grocery stores, malls, and other public spaces that are separate from contemporary art spaces. I built a self-contained kiosk on which art products can be displayed.

While ARTSHOP is a vehicle for showing and selling my own projects, most of the objects in ARTSHOP are produced by other people. With most of those objects, the artist was not necessarily thinking about how the consumer would relate to, acquire, or own the object. Artists often only make work only for themselves; to express their own ideas and feelings. ARTSHOP works as a bridge between the artist and the viewer by shepherding a design and marketing process that results in a greater connection between the viewer and the artwork.

ARTSHOP ONLINE

Magazine | Online Shop

INSTALLATION IMAGES

ARTISTS INVOLVED IN ARTSHOP

Aagoo Records | Alan Alejo | Alan Ganev | Alex Manley | Alexander Costantino | Alice Jarry | Anna Bayles Arthur | Anteism | Art Network | Ashley Opheim | Ashley Roark | Becky Johnson | Ben Spencer | Benoit Depelteau | Beth Robinson | Billy Mavreas | Carl David Ruttan | Carol MacDonald | Catherine Hall | Cathy Ward | Celia Spenard-Ko | Charles Orme | Christine Hale | Christopher Eric Olson | Christopher Schulz | Christy Mitchell | Ciaran Brennan | Cody Hicks | Colin-Patrick Charles | Craig Stephens | Daniel Heyman | Daryl Vocat | Dave Todaro | David Sokol | Denise Surprenant | Dimitry Vasilyev | Dragon’s Eye Recordings | Drew Nelles | Elizabeth Mostowski | Frankie Barnet | Frédéric Mahieu | George Breisch-Gonzalez | Gillian Klein | Guillaume Morissette | Harley Smart | Hasemeister | Heather Bischoff & Geoff Bennington | Ira Cummings | Jackie Mangione | Janet Van Fleet | Jason Galligan-Baldwin | JC Nusbaum | Jenny Blair | Jeremy Colangelo | Jessica Hagy | Jimmy Vogler | Jimmy! | John Brickels | Jolene Garanzha | Jp King | Justin Atherton | Karen M. Geiger | Kasini House Art Cards | Katie Dyer | Kirsten McCrea | Leslie Fry | Lois Eby | Luis London | Lynn Rupe | Marc Awodey | Marie-Maude Polychuck | Mark Ambrose Harris | Mark Gonyea | Matt Hovey | Miguel Sorto | Misanthrope Specialty Company | Monochrome Vision | Mr. Oblivious | Nicolas Dion | Nina Gaby | Nini Crane | P J De Villiers | Paedra Bramhall | Papirmasse | Paul Bowen | Pinups | Printed Matter | Px(C) | Rachel Trooper | Ribbon Pig | Ric Kasini Kadour | Riki Moss | Rita Godlevskis | Rob Christopher | rob mclennan | Roland Pemberton | Rosa Aiello | Rowan Cornell-Brown | Sarah Cole | Scott Einsig | Shotbox | Sophie Eisner | Sophie Joubarne | Stacey Carnell | Steph Wong Ken | Stephen M. Schaub | Steve Scicluna | Suckadelic | Susan Larkin | Sweetie Pie Press | Terry Hauptman | Tick Tick | Tonya Ferraro | Torrey Valyou | Trevor Barton | University of Vermont Press | Veronique Perron | Versal: Words In Here | Waking Windows | Waves of Adrenaline | XRAY | Yann Novak | Young Writers Project | Yvon Goulet

EXHIBITION HISTORY

September 19-21, 2014
Puces POP, Montreal, Quebec

September 5-6, 2014
22nd South End Art Hop, Burlington, Vermont

August 23, 2014
Wall to Canvas 5, South Burlington, Vermont

July 25-27 & August 1-3, 2014
Marché des Possibles, Montreal, Quebec

February 6 & February 9, 2014
Frenchmen Art Market, New Orleans, Louisiana

November 23-December 28, 2013
Pop-up Art Market at Burlington Town Center, Burlington, Vermont

November 16-17, 2013
Expozine 2013, Montreal, Quebec

September 29, 2013
New Hope Flea Market, New Hope, Pennsylvania

September 28, 2013
Saturdays Market, Middletown, Pennsylvania

September 27, 2013
The Green Dragon, Ephrata, Pennsylvania

September 8, 2013
Providence Flea, Providence, Rhode Island

September 7, 2013
21st South End Art Hop, Burlington, Vermont

August 17, 2013
Queer Between the Covers, Montreal, Quebec

July 2009-April 2013
ARTSHOP at Galerie Maison Kasini, Montreal, Quebec

November 17-18, 2012
Expozine 2012, Montreal, Quebec

June 30, 2012
Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, Ottawa, Ontario

April 12-15, 2012
Papier 12, Contemporary Art Fair of Works on Paper, Montreal, Quebec

March-December 2012
ARTSHOP at the Winooski Welcome Center & Gallery, Winooski, Vermont

November 26-27, 2011
Expozine 2011, Montreal, Quebec

September 9-10, 2011
ARTSHOP as part of “Montreal Contemporary Art” at the 19th South End Art Hop, Burlington, Vermont

June 24-July 31, 2011
ARTSHOP at the 2011 Winooski Pop-Up Gallery District, Winooski, Vermont

April 14-17, 2011
Papier 11, Contemporary Art Fair of Works on Paper, Montreal, Quebec

March 5-6, 2011
Puces Pop, Pop Montréal, Montreal, Quebec

November 13-14, 2010
Expozine 2010, Montreal, Quebec

April 16-18, 2010
Papier 10, Contemporary Art Fair of Works on Paper, Montreal, Quebec

November 29-30, 2008
Expozine 2008, Montreal, Quebec

February 2007-December 2008
ARTSHOP at Kasini House Gallery, Burlington, Vermont

September 8-9, 2006
ARTSHOP as part of Art Portico at the 14th South End Art Hop, Burlington, Vermont

Fall 2005-December 2006
ARTSHOP at Studio STK, Burlington, Vermont

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