With all of the excitement and buzz around the Armory Show this week, Affordable Art Fair is giving an inside look at some of the popular galleries and exhibits. To kick it off, they linked up Chrissy to discuss her vision and successful entrepreneurial pursuit of making contemporary art more accessible to the public. 

Here is the original article from our friends at Affordable Art Fair!

Gallery Visits: Explore ArtStar with Chrissy Crawford

To kick off our new blog series of “Gallery Visits,” we chatted with ArtStar founder, Chrissy Crawford, who gave us a look inside gallery life, art fairs and everything in between.

In January of 2011, Chrissy created ArtStar, an online art gallery that offers art lovers the opportunity to collect high quality, limited edition prints by distinctly talented contemporary artists. With an influx of galleries going virtual, we had to get the scoop for you & find out what it means to be an online gallery! Read on as Chrissy reveals her art interests, the magic behind ArtStar & what we can look forward to at this year’s spring 2014 Affordable Art Fair in New York!

AAF: ArtStar & Affordable Art Fair share a common goal: to make art accessible to all; a quote that drives the inspiration behind the fair is from William Morris who remarked, “I do not want art for a few any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few.”  What would you say is the motto or underlining goal of ArtStar?
CC: ArtStar started because I found there were a lot of people who wanted great original art, but it was inaccessible because they didn’t have the budget, access or connections. Their love of art and desire to collect truly beautiful, amazing contemporary art drove me to devise a plan for ArtStar. I began by addressing all the barriers: price, access, education, relationships and connections. And the result was ArtStar, a platform to get great art on people’s walls and foster the culture of collecting. I’d say that’s our goal.
AAFWhat are some of the advantages and disadvantages of an online art gallery as opposed to a traditional gallery?
CC: The ArtStar model has always been totally online in addition to participation in art fairs. Through the fairs, we are able to reach a lot of people, not only the people who are able to visit the gallery physically but also, the people who would never walk through gallery doors. By participating in art fairs, we get more foot traffic and we get the MOST foot traffic at Affordable Art Fair – more than you would year round at a physical gallery.
The only draw back is that if people can’t come to the fair, it’s difficult for them to see how high quality. However, e-commerce has proven greatly advantageous in that it is an immense compliment to buy process; people find art through the fairs, re-visit these works online and purchase thereafter.
AAF: What got you started in the arts and what gave you the extra push to launch ArtStar?
CC: I got started in art right out of college, worked at the Aspen Art Museum and a few galleries in Aspen. I moved to London and began working in art advisory to help people build their collections. The recession impacted art buying heavily and that was when I realized I wanted to get more people collecting and feeling like they had a place in the art world despite inaccessibility or budgets. People know a lot about pop culture but less about some of the world’s most famous artists. I wanted art to be more accessible.
AAF: What is ArtStar’s most memorable accomplishment to date?
CC: At the Affordable Art Fair in LA, our entire booth sold-out three times and we had a HUGE booth. There was one painting remaining and it looked like a conceptual art piece because it was standing alone! That was a great moment for ArtStar.
AAF: What are you most excited about for this years Affordable Art Fair?
CC: This year we’re bringing several great landscapes by Franklin Alvarez Fortun and Irene Suchocki and I’m really excited about our new Cuban artist, Julio Larraz, who has an amazing following. Larraz’s originals typically run $140,000 but we’ll be selling his prints starting at $120 at AAF NY! He is excited about attracting and building a relationship with a younger, new collector population!
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