Donald Rattner, a friend who is a successful architect, is branching out – almost literally. He has started a business called A.R.T., which Don characterizes as “a new way to create, collect and think about contemporary art” by making high quality, original art more accessible to more people.
He and his wife Gaby opened a pop-up store in Brooklyn’s pulsating DUMBO (near Grimaldi’s impossibly popular restaurant) that I visited a few days ago, and I was blown away by the quality of the design and the level of creativity. Best of all, the prices are within reach of many consumers.
The average price of one module ranges from $38/unit to $55/unit for the shelf art and $45 to $60 for the wall art per module, with a minimum order of two or three units, depending on the line. Mural art runs $8-10 a square foot.
It is expected that the majority of buyers will start with compositions running in the range of $800 to $2,500
Every piece utilizes state-of-the-art digital technology in its design and production, such as tele-fabrication, where digital files are transmitted over the air to robotically controlled machinery in remote studios.
It is, says Don, “a reflection of our commitment to modernity and a pragmatic means of producing art at the scale we envision.”
He says the concept seeks “to dissolve the traditional boundaries among disciplines by drawing talented people from the entire creative spectrum — fine artists from diverse media as well as architects, interior and industrial designers and other creatives.”
Ask Don who his audience is, and you’ll get this reply:
You are, if you’re one or more of the following: design-savvy; looking to surround yourself with compelling art; a design professional at work on a stimulating project; sensitive and thoughtful; young, old or middle-aged; rich or not-so-rich; creative or appreciative of creativity; an art critic; or simply happy to be alive.
Aside from the fact that I greatly respect and admire my friend, I believe his ideas are fresh, original, compelling and worthy of your investigation. No need to take my word for it, either: Just check out the Web site linked above.
Not only does Don’s enterprise have the capability of elevating the consumer to collaborator of an artist, nearly becoming one himself or herself. But his concept enables almost anyone beyond grad student to add to a home something special that has numerous benefits.
Beyond encouraging the active participation of the buyer, the art is affordable. And it represents a great leap higher than those paintings and photographs that people hang on their walls in the name of décor merely because they complement the colors of the couch.
A.R.T. makes Art – with a capital “A” – both accessible and meaningful to a broad new group of consumers. Even Martha Stewart would agree that “it’s a good thing.”
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022