Disrupting the Art Business

Pictured Above: Kritika Ashok and the myartgallery.ie penguin

Pictured Above: Kritika Ashok and the myartgallery.ie penguin

Digitisation is the future of business and one woman has already sprung from the starting blocks in the race to get ahead of the competition. Kritika Ashok is the founder of myartgallery.ie, a concept that is revolutionising the art business, as we know it.

Ashok, pictured right, comes from a business background, which will be explored further in our feature on female entrepreneurs in the next issue, and it is undoubtedly this knowledge and expertise that informs her decisions on her current venture to be part of the new wave of ‘digital disruptors’. As Accenture Technology Vision 2014 put it: “Those that get there first will be able to disrupt their existing markets and penetrate new ones. Make no mistake; this is very much a race.”

So what exactly is myartgallery.ie? Like all good ideas, it was born from a personal need. Ashok told Newsfour, “I really love penguins and was looking for an original painting to hang on a wall space. When I eventually found someone willing to do it, I was to be charged €1,000 for the commission. I thought, ‘There has to be a way around this’. So when a friend brought back a reasonably priced original from his travels saying, ‘It’s not that there are no artists willing to sell; it’s just that they have no platform from which to do it,’ I immediately saw the niche. Selling online would cut down on costs, making the piece more affordable and accessible for the buyer in the process. A win-win situation.”

It is incredible to think that an emerging artist today must embark upon a similar process as Van Gogh, Goya and as far back as Vermeer to sell work. A reliance on commissions and gallery displays that can have extortionate rates mean this business is unviable for many of even the most talented artists. Ashok aims to unleash this talent by removing the obstructions currently in place that are preventing people from accessing unique and original pieces of art.

Currently, if someone wants to fill a wall space they have two main choices – go to an established gallery or to a home-ware department store. Unless you are an art expert, it can be intimidating approaching a gallery. A hefty price tag with a meaningless value can be the result. The alternative to this is the same picture of a beach that hangs in your neighbour’s house. Ashok’s research has shown her that the majority of people just want something that makes them feel good when they look at it, something unique and reasonably priced. That is what myartgallery.ie aims to provide.

NewsFour asked Ashok about her motivation for this particular venture. “I like the artists that I am working with. Art is such a tough business to make it in. I know a lot of talented people who say they must choose different careers because they just can’t make ends meet. I’d like to think that I am helping artists on their way to success.”

The personal touch is very important to Ashok, who takes pride in having a uniform theme throughout, right through to packaging. In this model, which takes the art business from B2B marketing to B2C (business to customer), Ashok likes to think of her customers receiving their package from myartgallery.ie and enjoying their new piece of art with a cup of tea and the Penguin Bar it was enclosed with.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly