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Artspace.com Closes a $1.2 Million Round of Investment Financing and Launches Today
Catherine Levene and Christopher Vroom.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- Artspace, the premiere online marketplace for contemporary art, announce the closing of a $1.2 million round of financing from professional and super-angel investors. Launching today, Artspace offers collectors and art enthusiasts the ability to discover, learn about and collect art from world-renowned contemporary artists and emerging talent at affordable prices ranging from $200 - $10,000. Artspace curators collaborate directly with artists, prominent cultural institutions and top commercial galleries to offer the best selection of limited edition and original works of art. In addition to the pieces available for purchase, Artspace, a trusted source for information and collecting, provides discovery tools and extensive material on artists, institutions, galleries and more as a way to help users make educated and inspired purchase decisions.

Artspace partners include many of the most prestigious organizations in the world including the Asia Society, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Guggenheim Museum, MCA Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kitchen, the SculptureCenter, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, David Zwirner Gallery, James Cohan Gallery, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Richard Gray Gallery and Salon94 among others. Over the next twelve weeks, the company will release exclusive works by leading contemporary artists including David Salle, Tony Oursler, Ralph Gibson, Clifford Ross, Eric Fischl, Alexis Rockman, Sally Gall, Isaac Julien, Ross Bleckner, Liz Cohen and David Levinthal. The site also announces today that charity: water will be the first in a series of deserving non-profit organizations selected as beneficiaries of Artspace.

Soft launched in July 2010 as Art + Culture Editions, Artspace acts as an online art advisor and makes art more accessible to seasoned and aspiring collectors alike. The site aims to educate users by providing interesting, practical and useful information on the site and through a daily blog. While Artspace is available for any user to browse, enjoy and collect, Artspace members receive valuable benefits. Membership is free and allows access to weekly private sales where coveted limited editions are offered exclusively to Artspace members at special insider prices. Each work of art sold through Artspace’s members-only private sales will be signed by the artist either directly on the work or via a signed label.

Through the Artspace Limited Edition Program, Artspace also publishes works created in collaboration with top contemporary artists directly and/or in partnership with the galleries, museums and non-profit organizations with which they are associated. These special editions serve to promote the artists’ practice by introducing their work to wider audiences at more accessible prices while also supporting and promoting the organizations that are important to them. Artspace works directly with each artist to set edition sizes and prices and to ensure the highest quality printing of these works.

In order to make the buying process more interactive and engaging, Artspace incorporates a number of social features that encourage collectors to share the art buying process with their own social networks. Users may curate collections on the site and share them with friends through Facebook, Twitter and other online outlets. In addition, Artspace features collections curated by tastemakers in the world of art, design, food, fashion, entertainment and media as a way to suggest artists and works that other users might enjoy.

The Artspace team has a deep appreciation for the positive role that artists, cultural institutions and non-profit organizations play in our society. Each purchase made through Artspace directly supports an artist, a leading cultural institution and/or a worthy non-profit organization working to raise awareness for a variety of causes related to health, human welfare and the environment.

"Artspace is a great model for the future of art commerce,” said artist Eric Fischl. “They have put together an excellent model of support from artists of stature, cultural institutions and non-profit arts organizations alike. The site allows us to share our work with a broad range of collectors and art enthusiasts while providing an outlet for much needed philanthropic engagement. This is a close personal mission of mine."

Artspace is the brainchild of Christopher E. Vroom, Founder of Artadia – the Fund for Art and Dialogue and former Managing Director and Global Group Head at Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group, and Catherine Levene, digital media innovator and former COO and General Manager of DailyCandy.com as well as Vice President of Product, Business Development and Strategy of New York Times Digital. Investors behind Artspace include: Robert Pittman, Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for Clear Channel, former CEO of MTV Networks and former COO of AOL Time Warner; Pamela P. Kramlich and her husband C. Richard Kramlich, Chairman and Co-Founder of New Enterprise Associates; Tim Mott, Co-founder of Electronic Arts; and Alexander Lloyd, Founder and Managing Partner of Accelerator Ventures. Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of Salon94 and judge on Bravo’s Work of Art will serve as an Artspace advisor along with Neil Vogel, CEO of Recognition Media, owner and producer of the Webby Awards and Internet Week New York and London.

“We are thrilled to launch Artspace.com, a trusted, sophisticated and highly engaging online platform that introduces great art to a wider audience,” said Christopher Vroom, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President. “We are proud to work with some of the greatest artists of our time and to support leading cultural institutions that together form the foundation of creative culture around the world.”

In conjunction with the launch of the site, Artspace has partnered with photographer Clifford Ross to support charity: water, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. The exclusive, special edition release of Ross’s “Hurricane LIV” on Tuesday, March 29th will be sold to benefit the deserving organization. The work, an archival pigment print, will be available in an edition of 300 priced at $250.

“I am excited to combine my passion for art with my experience building consumer internet brands,” said Catherine Levene, CEO and Co-Founder of Artspace. “The art ecommerce space is growing and evolving and I believe we have built a platform that will promote positive change and allow users to explore and collect art more freely than ever before. We are proud to be working with Clifford Ross and charity: water and look forward to announcing partnerships with additional nonprofit organizations and cultural institutions as a way to make collecting an even more rewarding experience.”





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March 30, 2011

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