A new year, a new spirit

January 2nd, 2008 | No Comments

New Year’s Day is probably my favorite holiday — along with Thanksgiving. The new year offers a moment to hit the reset button on life. It’s a time for clarifying the future and reflecting on the past, imagining how things might change and remembering those we have lost.

For some people, it’s just another day. But for me, I look at January 1 with intense interest. It’s is a liminal time. A time for trying new things and shedding the old. It’s a clean slate. Perhaps you feel this way too? Or perhaps I am stating the obvious?

A New Year’s souvenir: A beautifully designed label

In that spirit, I invested a lot of time over the past month rethinking my web site and planning for the future. (Why do I have a site? What am I trying to say? What is this thing, anyway?!!!)

You may therefore notice the new design, with four new, distinct, online painting galleries. And I hope you like what you see. I think of the new design as wiggz.com 4.0; it’s the fourth iteration of the site, going back to 2000.

(To see previous versions, if you’re morbidly curious, check out the Wayback Machine.)

One of the features of the new design is an online art store. While I’m not harboring designs to transform modern capitalism by selling paintings and prints directly, my online art store at least will make available modern art for collectors steadily, in a frictionless fashion.

It was Radiohead’s decision to distribute their art directly that inspired me to establish my own online art store. If musical artists are distributing their work directly to their fans, then so can — and should — visual artists. Many have been placing fine art for sale online for years, especially through eBay. I am happy to continue the trend, with no expectations or preconceptions.

It seems like the predictions for disintermediation that we kidded about in the dot-com era have finally come true. While the gallery business model can be beneficial to many artists, I personally don’t see the need for gallery representation. Instead, by placing art for sale online and dealing with collectors directly, I will be able to undercut gallery prices and, in turn, reach more collectors.

After all, why is IKEA more popular than, say, Design Out of Within Reach? Pricing. While IKEA’s products are just as well-designed (and arguably not as durable), they are much more affordable. This is because IKEA stocks its own brand. There are no “authorized sellers” in their business model, as there are in computers. They sell directly to the public. And as a result, IKEA has brand loyalty that competitors can’t touch. They make their profits on inventory turns.

Over time, perhaps soon, I will be adding new paintings to my online art store. The shop will have a more elaborate shopping cart, too — something more involved than Paypal, which works fine for the moment.

But enough talk about the online art store! I hope this year is a good one for you. May you achieve the goals you’re looking to achieve. Make it great in ’08! Happy New Year!


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