Phillips, one of the oldest auction house in the world, which was yet to embrace the emergence of e-commerce and wanted to do only traditional retail commerce, has now launched an online store named as DropShop where “artists will sell their work directly to collectors, and Phillips will collect a fee”. It is not mentioned about how much that fee would be but we believe it could be anywhere between 25-50%. The launch of Dropshop is scheduled for August 20 and from there, people can buy the arts directly without any waiting time.
Amanda Lo Iacono, Phillips’s global managing director of 20th-century and contemporary art, says that “It’s something that’s appealing to both sides”. “We identified this ability to act as a platform for artists and bring them into direct contact with collectors.” The auction house is sweetening the deal for artists by offering them a 3% portion of the proceeds if a piece purchased on Dropshop is then resold through Phillips. “We’re trying to expand how we can shift our place in this ecosystem”. She adds that “We’re really dedicating each month to one artist or maker or collaborator, and they get the full real estate of Dropshop,” and also mentions that “When that month is over, the works are gone,” “It’s not a marketplace. They’re not available in perpetuity.” Giving an idea about the prices, it is mentioned that works on the site will range in cost from $5,000 to $50,000.
Also worth noting is that the first artist on Dropshop will be Brooklyn, New York-based “hyperrealist” Cj Hendry, best known for detailed depictions of luxury collectibles, which she tends to sell via Instagram or directly out of her studio. Hendry will also be selling a unique, large-scale drawing on the site for around $100,000 and also revealed that Admission on opening day will be free; anyone who finds one of the special crowns will be entitled to a free artwork—a bronze crown painted red, created in an edition of 100. Hendry says that “This is great for them, it’s great for me, and they’re working as fast as I work,” and adds that “They can clearly see there’s a need to reach a younger contemporary collector, so it works well for everyone.”