In July’s blog, I discussed the convergence of the fashion industry with new technology. Now, there’s a hot new convergence of the art world and technology.
In fostering her own “second act,” actress Portia de Rossi recently launched an online venture called GENERAL PUBLIC. The CEO/Co-Founder summarizes her art publishing and curation business below:
“I formed my company, GENERAL PUBLIC, with a view to bring good art to more people. As a long-time art lover and collector, I became fascinated with the concept of reproducing paintings using 3-D technology because I believe the artist’s work should be shared by as many people who wish to own it and not just enjoyed by one collector.”
GENERAL PUBLIC buys original works of fine art from the artist, creates exacting prints with SYNOGRAPH™ technology, then sells them directly to consumers. SYNOGRAPH™ prints are textured, so they look and feel like the original. Artists receive a royalty from sales. This business is a WIN-WIN for artists and art fans alike!
GENERAL PUBLIC has also partnered with RH Modern (f/k/a Restoration Hardware). Prints on RH Modern/General Public Art and in RH galleries are an exclusive collection, different from those sold by GENERAL PUBLIC.
GENERAL PUBLIC’s business model appeals to me because it supports artists rather than just exploiting the art, and RH Modern’s partnership bridges the gap between the decorative and fine-art markets.
The first thought that came to mind, however, is how suitable I am to be the attorney representing this innovative business.
This model depends on the type of deals I typically work on, and in representing this client, I would leverage my 20+ years of experience with fashion merchandising and new media clients. I routinely draft contracts necessary to structure this business from a corporate legal perspective: