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s[edition]

This week we were fortunate to hear rumors about a new site called s[edition], which is launching worldwide today. s[edition] has created a platform for a completely new way of purchasing digital art at incredibly affordable prices (a Damien Hirst for $12.50 … A Wim Wenders for $8). Below, see what some of the featured artists are saying, and read our interview with founders Robert Norton and Harry Blain, on how we can all become serious art collectors. Check it out—it’s pretty cool.

What some of the featured artists are saying

From Tracey Emin:

I like the idea of original pieces of art going to people directly for a low price, because when you are an artist and you get to a certain level, it means that you have forced yourself out of the market for a lot of people, and this makes pure art available. And also it is a new medium, which I think is exciting.

If you were to buy a neon, well most people couldn’t, so this way they could actually have a neon in their room, in their living room, at a party for example on their screen, and it is reasonably inexpensive.

Tracey Emin
I Promise to Love You
Digital Limited Edition
©Tracey Emin, courtesy of [s]edition
$80


From Shepard Fairey:

I have always been interested in using a broad variety of techniques and materials, and so it was really exciting to take on the digital medium for the first time with artworks created for s[edition]. Peace Guard is an evolution of a pre-existing idea, and yet by animating the artwork with the exploding gun barrel and the regenerating rose it has given it a whole new meaning, which I find fascinating.

Shepard Fairey
Peace Guard
Digital Limited Edition
©Shepard Fairey, courtesy of [s]edition
$35.20


From Sue Webster:

Everyone seems to have an iPhone or a Blackberry these days, and people like sharing imagery. There is an immediacy of the internet where everybody is used to getting everything now, and there is a spread of information, which is faster than a disease. And I suppose instead of a disease being spread, why not some of our imagery being accessible to a wider audience because I suppose it is educating people to look at art.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Forever
Digital Limited Edition
©Tim Noble and Sue Webster, courtesy of [s]edition
$40


From Mat Collishaw:

If art is the Church, then prints and that kind of medium are like the Bible. Maybe the new digital reproduction of these works is more like an illuminated manuscript. It has that beautiful quality to it, which is beyond what print can reproduce …

You do not have a problem with the material substance or its weight and gravity. It is frictionless when it is in the digital realm. So you can make a work that has a more chimerical, spectral quality to it, which is something that I aspire to.

Mat Collishaw
Burning Flower
Digital Limited Edition
©Mat Collishaw, courtesy of [s]edition
$64

Interview with s[edition] founders Robert Norton and Harry Blain

Q

How did you come up with the name s[edition]?

A

It’s a play on the word editions.


Q

Who curates s[edition]?

A

We work directly with the artists and therefore there is no curator as such. We hope to invite curators to present exhibitions online at a later stage.


Q

We’ve never heard of anything quite like s[edition] (congratulations by the way). In a sense, you are revolutionizing the art market. Do you see it this way?

A

We hope to enable more people to enjoy and collect art. That is our goal.


Q

Do you foresee that people will want to sell their editions to other members?

A

Some collectors will never sell and others will trade continually. s[edition] will enable collectors to continue building their collections, and at a later stage will give them the option to sell, should they wish.


Q

How do you think the work will increase in value?

A

In the physical world, many collectors place a premium on early editions. With s[edition] collectors of early editions can buy the work at the starting offer price. The cost of the work may change as the supply of available editions decreases.


Q

Were the works available created specifically for s[edition] or did you request already existing work?

A

Some works have been created specifically for s[edition]. Other works reference physical forms and have been re-created as digital works. Artists have worked closely with s[edition] programmers to deliver the final version according to their vision and s[edition]’s technical specifications.


Q

What happens when an entire edition is sold?

A

S[edition] plans to introduce an open marketplace to enable collectors to buy and sell works directly after edition runs have been sold out. This service is in development, and will be available in the months to come.


Q

How will you avoid these pieces being stolen/copied/plagiarized? How is the art protected?

A

Each limited edition has a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artists and a secure record to verify the artwork is authentic. Once an artwork is purchased, it lives in high quality in the collector’s vault. Only the collector of an edition can access his or her private vault to download the work, for personal use, on to any device he or she owns or controls. Every purchased work is tracked using digital watermarking technology. Each artwork can be identified, verified, and traced to its owner. Video files are not available for download and have to be viewed with an app such as the iPad app or streamed from a connected device. s[edition] will be adding new apps to support offline viewing in the coming year. We want to build a rewarding culture of responsible collecting.


Q

You have a few still images available for purchase; do you think still photography will start to play a more prominent roll on the site? (Screens are the perfect lightbox a la Jeff Wall).

A

We are focused on the world’s leading artists for now. There are a number of still photograph digital limited editions available by artists including Mat Collishaw, Isaac Julien, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, and Wim Wenders. We work directly with the artists to offer their works as digital limited editions and are really excited about how they will respond to the opportunities provided in the digital realm.


Q

Are there a few young (either in age or in career) digital artists whose work you are excited about? In other words, who should we be watching out for now?

A

The digital medium is one that many artists are already working in, and many more in the future will turn to. We are looking forward to seeing how different artists take on the digital format, and how their works will evolve.


Q

Who would you just die to have on here?

A

There are still many artists we would love to include, but David Hockney’s work with the iPhone and the iPad stands out for me as something I would really like to make available as a digital limited edition.


Q

Do you accept entries and portfolios?

A

Our initial focus is on those artists that are already well established and have a global reach. However, any artist can reach out to us via our contact page.


Q

Are you currently partnering with any museums/galleries/art institutions? Do you plan to?

A

We are in discussions with cultural institutions about potential partnerships, and will be announcing those projects in the months to come.


We also have a great gift feature where you can buy a piece for a friend and send it to them via email.


Wim Wenders
Lounge Painting 1
Digital Limited Edition
© Wim Wenders, courtesy of [s]edition
$8

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