There’s nothing more exciting than a business that is artistically creative, while at the same time working to enhance society. Art-Switch does just that. Founded in 2005 in London, England by Parag Shah, Art-Switch encourages the opening up of the art industry since it is often reserved for elites. In an interview with the Guardian, Shah explains that the art world is "a closed door to the uninitiated, with obscure and sometimes arbitrary prices to line the pockets of wealthy dealers."
On its website, Art-Switch self-defines itself as a "library of original art." Its online art catalog is a place where customers can buy and/or borrow pieces of contemporary art at fair and transparent prices. Part of an attempt to expand art literacy and allow a larger segment of the population to enjoy original artwork, Art-Switch gives the customer as much information as they have. In order to ensure objectivity, prices are based on popularity.
What’s more, Art-Switch lets you change your mind. Whether your outlook changes, your home is redecorated, or you’re simply tired of that same piece, Art-Switch encourages you to return your art for something new. For £1 a day, clients can borrow a wide range of artwork, and the artist gets £1 for every day that the piece is being lent. Once sold, the artist gets 75 percent of sale prices. With a system like this, the art is affordable to those who own or borrow it, but at the same time, the artists gets paid for both the leasing process and the eventual sale, which can increase the overall income for the art community. Artist Rebecca Russell-Turner explains a benefit to Art-Switch because "it means it’s not stuck gathering dust somewhere in between exhibitions."
By bringing the gallery to you, Art-Switch is no-risk and hassle-free. Furthermore, artwork isn’t just for personal homes—many of Art-Switch’s clients range from health centers to business places. Art literacy is something that can be fostered by all members of society.
Thanks to Art-Switch’s focus on community development, awareness and employment, art becomes a more central part of people’s lives, and gets people talking about their tastes and preferences, in a way that is not simply accessible to the wealthy part of the population.
Unit 3, Stratford Workshops
London, E15 2SP
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8555 0037
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