Art | E-cquisitions

A new online art space launches a virtual pop-up

Members of this virtual gallery get exclusive access to new artworks

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A new online art space launches a virtual pop-up

Image: Courtesy of the artist (Ara Peterson) and The Hole, New York

November 25 2011
Lindsay Macpherson

Spearheaded by this year’s VIP Art Fair (the first such event to be held exclusively online) and e-tailer Artspace, the art world’s new digital direction is gaining momentum. A new launch is Paddle8, a members-only online space that displays exclusive online-only artwork alongside pieces from galleries’ current exhibitions (think big hitters such as Gagosian, David Zwirner, White Cube and Sperone Westwater).

Members of the free-to-join site can acquire art by making an offer to the galleries via the website (despite the name, Paddle8 doesn’t do auctions, and prices are listed on the website) and are then given access to fine-art shipping and insurance to complete the process. There’s also a monthly guest-curated online art exhibition with an accompanying dossier of explanatory videos and text for each artwork, the latest being Immaterial by performance artist Marina Abramovic, which explores the ways in which an object can trascend perception.

This month, Paddle8 has found its perfect pop-up partner in the New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA), a non-profit that aims to challenge the “adversarial approach to exhibiting and selling art”. The two have joined forces for NADA’s buzzed-about Miami Beach art fair running December 1-4, a younger, edgier, more contemporary counterpart to Art Basel Miami Beach.

Each NADA gallery has been given the opportunity to host a virtual storefront on Paddle8 to curate and sell its art, which Paddle8 members can access exclusively from a week before NADA’s launch through to December 11, one week after the fair finishes – a good perk considering that last year many galleries had completely sold out by the end of the opening preview.

First picture: Ara Peterson’s Untitled, 2009. Second picture: Shinique Smith’s Of a Particular Perfume, 2011.