by Nicole Rupersburg
When you picture an art collector, the image that comes to mind is potentially that of a snooty high-society type fawning over the latest million-dollar piece from whichever artist is currently in vogue, rather than a mustachioed dude who rides a fixie to sweaty techno parties when he isn't home making artisanal pickles.
1xRUN (one-time-run) is changing all that. Started by Ryan Brogan, Jesse Cory and Dan Armand—who owned the gallery 323 East in Royal Oak, Michigan (which has since moved to Detroit's Eastern Market and is reopening 17 May as Inner State gallery)—1xRUN seeks to recreate the excitement of gallery openings online and democratize the art collecting experience.
Offering limited edition time-released prints and original pieces with a decidedly street and pop art aesthetic, 1xRUN has built an audience of 15,000 international collectors since launching in 2010, offering over 20,000 prints from some 250 artists in that time. They're also on track to hit over $1 million in art sales this year, with tens of thousands of dollars going back to the artists every month.
"The idea came because we really loved doing exhibitions at the gallery, but they were only once a month and took months of planning," Cory says. "In a traditional gallery, you can't produce a show and invite people to come in three days. We wanted to create that excitement for an art opening and celebration for an artist's work online."
1xRUN breaks down the barriers of traditional galleries, giving people—many of whom don't self-identify as art collectors—an opportunity to collect at an accessible $50 price point. "The growth of public art and murals—of street art—has really opened the door for people to feel comfortable and engage with the work," Cory says. "The art world is not about people coming [up to this perceived level] anymore."
The prints of 1xRUN appeal to the same people who come to party at their exhibit openings, who transition from collecting sneakers and concert posters to collecting fine art prints, perhaps without really seeing a difference. "Pop culture does that. It makes that transition into collecting easier. It's easier to get engaged in something you're already familiar with," says Cory.
Right now, 1xRUN has a series of Iron Man 3 original artwork prints available for as long as the movie is number one at the box office. Floridian artist BASK was commissioned by Robert Downey Jr., a big fan, and the film's producers to create a series of paintings for set designs, including the tricked-out bachelor pad of the man in the iron mask, Tony Stark. Prints start at $50 and BASK will hand-embellish 20 of them—which 20 will be a surprise to the lucky collectors. Get yours online at 1xRUN, where you can also pick up Jon Burgerman's signed "Alien" print through Monday, 13 May 2013.
Images courtesy of 1xRUN