I’ve never been crazy about going to art exhibitions… In most cases, the artists showing are usually quite established; it’s unlikely you’ll discover some underground, under-appreciated artist. And there’s no chance you will be taking home any of the work in a material sense, as art world prices can be afforded by few and far between. I caught a whiff of Got it For Cheap via the Instagram hashtag #gotitforcheap on my explore feed. I tracked down an official poster for the show which I honestly thought was an amazing joke: columns of over 300 names, listed in tiny font. The names were the artists in the exhibition. Zooming up close I began to recognize many past Editorial contributors – Maren Karlson, Andre Ethier, Brad Phillips, Darby Milbrath.. This was no joke. It was genius? Like the investigator I am, I contacted curators Charlie Roberts and Chris Rexroad to find out more. Charlie and Chris were childhood friends in Kansas, and started GIFC after Charlie had brought stacks of cheap drawings around to fairs and found the crowds excited by the opportunity of owning artwork for cheap. The GIFC Vol 2, 3, 4 roster is inclusive; you’ll find an established artist next to an upcoming, almost unknown artist. It’s a goldmine for fresh names in the art market. Each artist was asked to submit 10-50 original drawings to be shown in stacks placed on tables in the galleries. With each drawing priced at only $30, GIFC allows the average person to become an art collector. Got It For Cheap will show in multiple cities across the world throughout May to July. Read our conversation and see some work from the exhibition below! – CM
How did you come up with this idea?
Charlie: I had been making these big stacks of cheap drawings and taking them to fairs and shows and seeing how excited people got flipping through stacks; people who had never bought work able to buy things, and I thought there was a way to expand the concept and so Rexroad and I cooked up GIFC.
Do you feel as artists, it’s important to engage with your peers, in this case, in the form of curators?
Chris: Yes, for me it has been a great experience reaching out and meeting all the artists even though online in most cases. Networking always feels good.
Charlie: It can be, it’s nice to leave the bubble and cyber chat with artists. It’s a weird phase commercial art is in right now. You gotta have irons in the fires.
Brad Phillips and Cristine Brache
This show is pretty grassroots. I love the idea that buyers and artists alike can participate regardless of privilege or status. Is this kind of show/market necessary right now?
Chris: I think there is always a place for this kind of show/market. Giving people the opportunity to be engaged in the art experience as a buyer isn’t always common, that makes this project really fun for everyone involved.
Charlie: I think there is a spot for it in the mix. There are certainly a lot of engaged art fans who are priced out of the market.
In your call for work, you guys said the low price hopefully allows the artist to loosen up and make doodles, or funny shit. Does removing the pressure of monetary gain and critical success allows the artist to flourish, in your opinion?
Chris: It allows them to exercise in ways that often get put to the wayside when buckling down and swinging for the fence on larger more involved works.
Charlie: Flourish may be the wrong word, it is a good exercise to limber up the mind and potentially discover some vocabulary that can translate into an artists work.
Got it For Cheap, the concept, and a lot of art, seems to have a sense of humour. Is this intentional?
Chris: Yes, there is definitely humor involved with it. We always like to have a good time.
Do viewers and critics take this exhibition seriously? What are some reactions to this travelling, mass art show?
Chris: I hope so. While having fun, we have taken the project very seriously ourselves. It would be nice for that to show through. The traveling aspect of the project has people really excited.
Charlie: We will see, so far people have been pumped. We have tba plans to expand the project and network.
Nina Chanel Abney Meets Soulland
Sung Hyun Kim
What are some of your favourite artists in the show?
Chris: I am genuinely excited about all of them. In particular I am pumped on the work I have seen by Taylor Carpenter, Anja Salonen, and Edward Cushenberry, Rhys Lee, Lee Piechocki, and Andrew Ho for starters.
Charlie: There are so many killers, a few names off top, Colburn Paluck, Tess Bilhartz , Andre Ethier, Duda Bebek, Cecilia Paulson, Brigid Moore, Victoria Duffee, Brad Phillips
The format of the show brings to mind the Explore feed on Instagram – the stacks of drawings piled on tables, made by a mass amount of artists both well-known and relatively unknown. Do you feel social media has informed your concept? Do you feel that in this screen-age the desire for material artworks like original sketches and paintings has actually increased?
Chris: Social media has definitely played a big hand in the formation and communication of this whole project, as most events these days. I would think yes, with most people desire to obtain original works would be increased.
GOT IT FOR CHEAP VOL 2, 3, 4. The shows will be taking place at the David Risley Gallery in Copenhagen on May 4, at Steinsland Berliner Gallery in Stockholm on May 20 and at Agnes B’s Gallerie du Jour in Paris on July 21.
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