AucArt the first of its kind: an online auction platform dedicated to presenting the works of artists either in their last year of study or up to three years after graduation. Launched in December 2017, it is the only auction house to offer recent art school graduate work straight out of the studio. And it has an original auction and pricing system to top up this promise!

Natasha Arselan. Courtesy AucArt. Natasha Arselan. Courtesy AucArt.

AucArt founder Natasha Arselan started from a rather simple belief: “who would not want to be the first to discover a brand new artist, who wouldn’t want to follow them from the very beginning of their career and who wouldn’t want to own a work by an artist of tomorrow. Being able to follow the artists behind the artworks is incredibly rewarding, it’s very exciting to grow your collection alongside an artist developing throughout their career”.

Artists fresh out of art school already have an astounding body of work to showcase, but they often lack the resources and connections to reach potential buyers. Similarly, collectors are keen to discover rising artists first but do not necessarily have time to scout graduate shows and underground openings.

A setback frequently identified in the art market is its lack of transparency in setting prices. This can be an even greater barrier for buying art by young practitioners, as there is no past data or comparison point to have a sense of the value of the pieces on sale – and some will say that’s the thrill of it. In order to remove this obstacle, AucArt bets on a fair and simple pricing system: collectors have the option to either bid or “buy now” (at a higher price than the starting bid). Collectors are able to see when the reserve has been met and there is no buyer’s premium.

Despite having not been around for long, the young auction house thrives on its excellent quality of curated works, bringing together artists from the top 30 schools. The team is on a mission to uncover the most promising artists and to review works submitted by the artists themselves. The value of the artwork is then estimated according to medium, size, and artist credentials, prices on the platform range from a few hundred pounds to £6,000.

As part of this curating effort, the online auctions are not presented in one go or at a fixed date, but rather as an ongoing rendez-vous with young artists. For May, there are therefore 31 lots. Once registered on the website (an easy process), potential buyers can browse through this artfully curated offer, and decide whether they want to buy or bid.

The May sale features 17 artists, each with their own unique approach to painting – the only medium featured so far if we exclude I REALLY REALLY LOVE IT, a LED collage by Ant Hamlyn, the last lot of the catalogue (lot 31). Abstract paintings such as Joel Ethan Crerar’s colourful Red with Blue (lot 4) coexist with an evocative landscape like Rene Gonzalez’s Up Steps (lot 18).

“We offer clients artworks with a lifeline, a journey they will share with the artist from the very beginning that is something money cannot buy”, concludes Arselan.

Ready to make the leap and start your collection of artworks by young artists?

Comment