Canvassing The Web
Soon you, too, can own a Richard Phillips—even if you can’t afford his usual six-figure prices. The new Exhibition A (members’ only, technically, but with open registration) offers editions, printed on canvas, of works by artists like Phillips (whose Spectrum painting famously reached a new audience recently after appearing on Gossip Girl), Hanna Liden, and Terence Koh—for between $100 and $500. Gallerist Bill Powers (left, with wife Cynthia Rowley), who co-founded the site, explained that his goal was to help turn young art appreciators into bona fide collectors. “Really the idea sprung up because of my niece who goes to Cal Arts,” he explained. “It’s affordable enough that she can buy something. And it can be a point of entry for new collectors. Sometimes people don’t know how to get started.”
Powers, who currently runs Half Gallery in the city, teamed with Rowley, Laura Martin, and Gabby Munoz on the project. The key to the low prices isn’t the membership (signing up is gratis), but rather the unique open-edition format: Works are available for sale for a limited time rather than by numbered edition, which also keeps the artists’ galleries happy. For the opening, participants like Liden, Phillips, Rene Ricard, and photographer Mark Borthwick (designer Maria Cornejo’s other half) all made the rounds. “Bill chose the canvases, which worked out perfectly for me,” Borthwick said of his pieces, available now on the site. “I’m a typical Libra. I don’t ever wish to choose.” Those willing to wait it out until the new year will have even more options, including pieces by Jim Drain, Olivier Zahm, and Terence Koh. Koh, in typical enfant terrible form, riffed off his notorious Big White Cock (a white neon light in the shape of a rooster) by screening the outline onto black canvas.
If it wasn’t your usual fashion crowd, designer Cynthia Rowley felt right at home with the industry crossover. “Before I was ever in fashion, I was in art schoolᾹI was a painter,” she said. “Now I draw mostly. But doing things like this…it’s like getting to hang out with all my friends.”