This is a site for people who trust themselves to find wonderful things just by being on the web and who think it’s ok for artists to control their own distribution, without needing to the imprimatur of a gallery or a museum. It’s that simple.

This is the internet age, and good art has been just about the last thing to go online, after books and movies and waaaay after music. You buy fine antiques, first-edition books, great wine, and designer clothes on the net. Even cars, and maybe houses too. Why not sculptures and paintings and most of all prints?

Art lovers and artists alike, we need to take this circulation question seriously, and we need to take some art-world power back into our own hands. I’ve been thinking about this a good long time, since well before the internet arrived, and the still-current bricks-and-mortar system makes less sense to me with each passing day. You can go to Saatchi.com for art, or you can go to a new bunch of curated online auction houses and virtual marketplaces, but why not do the digital equivalent of buying directly from the artist’s studio? I buy artwork and artist’s books on the net quite often, and it’s a wonderful experience to go directly to the artist for such purchases, maybe leave a comment on their site while I’m there. Interesting conversations have opened up that way. So this site is for those of you who also like that kind of experience. Welcome to my place. Feel free to poke about.

Belief is a funny thing: it exists until suddenly it doesn’t. I want us to all stop believing that there is only one path by which artists can really succeed, a path that leads through curators and collectors to museums. What would it look like to become a post-capitalist artist working largely outside this system? For all of us collectively to find other ways? There are so many alternatives that are being pioneered out there by artists of all kinds:  virtual art, gift art, conceptual art, networked performance, interactive installation, downloaded art, software art, curating as art, workshops as art, lectures as art. One thing they have in common: few lend themselves well to being collected. I have a lot of work done in physical media. It sits in flat files collecting dust. Here is where the art lives, as far as I am concerned. If you have made it here, you have made it all the way. You are welcome to buy something if that pleases you better than just looking.

I have been using the internet as a distribution medium and communication platform for 20 years now. From time to time I look into whatever the current alternative is to running my own site: auction sites like ebay, small-shop sites like etsy, printing sites like imagekind, markets like squarespace, but they all seem unnecessarily complicated. WordPress remains a straightforward approach to  ‘going public’ with new work. And to model a way forward for other artists. I’m taking the most basic possible approach, a blog with an integrated shopping cart. No bells, no whistles. Just the work and the writing about the work and a way to buy anything that catches your fancy.

I also want to encourage other artists who are breaking out of the white box, so I’ll be posting about their sites as I find them, and adding them to my links.

Full disclosure: I write everything here that’s not obviously quoted, so any errors are mine. I accept no advertising or sponsorships—indeed, I may now be the last site on the internet without a  ‘1 secret to a flat stomach’ ad.

—Antoinette LaFarge

PS. Here is a post about how I got started as an artist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.