EDUCATION AND ANALYTICS
Founded in 2008 by Laurence Lafforgue, a digital startup entrepreneur who entered the art world collecting inexpensive prints, ArtWeLove uses much the same model as 20x200 in offering multiple sizes at a range of prices along with signed certificates of authenticity. In addition, each work is embossed with the company’s stamp, something like a printer’s chop. To date, ArtWeLove has produced around 60 editions by 30 artists, some more conceptually adventurous than others. The New York-based artist Jorge Otero-Pailos, for example, used a photograph of a piece of latex to which he had transferred pollution residue from the facade of the Alumix factory in Bolzano, Italy—an artifact from an eco-conscious installation that he mounted at the 2008 Manifesta. Light striking the latex reflected a fiery red in the photo, which looks like a pure abstraction. The Italian artist Luisa Rabbia adopted a still from a video that combines her blue ballpoint-pen inkings and vintage travel shots.
“ArtWeLove is maybe a little tougher than 20x200,” says artist Daniel Wiener, known mainly for his sculpture. He has produced three editions with ArtWeLove based on abstract watercolors. “Here you have printing on demand, Philin really high quality. The elasticity of scale worked for me, because there’s a fractal thing going on anyway in my work. I was surprised. The little ones—smaller than the original—look really good.”
ArtWeLove has an elaborate educational component on its site, which it uses not only to inform buyers but to help select new work. In addition to biographical and exhibition information on artists, ArtWeLove features nicely produced 2-minute videos with them (“Studio Visit”). There is also a section on the site called “Learn About Art” in which visitors can browse based on their collecting interests (movements and styles, techniques and mediums, or emerging markets), finding mini-lessons and links. In the “Situationism” section, for example, you can link to an essay by Guy Debord or click on relevant artworks (a piece by affichiste Jacques Villeglé, for example). “The section indexes more than 200 artists and 400 artworks,” says Lafforgue, “and venues and galleries. It is a Pandora- or Amazonlike way to discover and serve content. We are using that to find out what people are interested in. We perform analytics—on time spent on pages, or which are the most shared—and we draw conclusions based on interest level for certain kinds of work. That helps us fine-tune the kinds of artists we’ll go after.”