Co-founder and Co-director Claire Johnston:
“…a gallery with a great aesthetic and not a lot of attitude”
LOOC Art is unique in being a Web-based gallery, without a brick-and-mortar counterpart beyond representing your artists in large international fairs. How did you and McLanahan come to found LOOC?
Lara McLanahan and I founded LOOC Art in 2011 based on a mutual love of contemporary art and a belief that we could find under-appreciated artists whose work we hoped would interest our friends and hopefully clients. Lara had been working on her own as an independent dealer/consultant. I brought a background in the trade show business to the table. It has been a fascinating learning curve for us both and eminently satisfying to find that, yes, we have discovered artists whose work viewers are very interested in.
You mention on your site that you seek to make buying art a more transparent process. What exactly do you mean, and does this have to do with being Web-based?
We include pricing for currently featured work right on our website and when we participate in art fairs, works are very clearly priced. We feel that often people aren’t really comfortable about inquiring about pricing, perhaps assuming that works are not particularly affordable. We want to make our viewing audience as comfortable and confident as possible, and we feel that transparent pricing is a big part of this approach.
What makes your Web-based gallery a desirable venue for potential art buyers?
We are hoping to offer our clients exposure to artists they haven’t encountered before. Because we are Web-based, fairs are huge for us, in terms of exposure to new clientele and for promoting our artists work.
Beyond the fact that you are Web-based, what do you see as differentiating LOOC from brick-and-mortar galleries?
We are online only and we try to be completely transparent about our pricing, forgoing the attitude of pretentiously inaccessible price lists and cagey sales consultations. We are hoping to be as approachable and free of attitude as possible. We want the process of buying art for your home or office to be enjoyable and stress-free.
What do you look for in artists when considering representation?
We look, first and foremost, for artists whose work speaks to us, and both Lara and I must be in concert on this front. Secondly, we look for artists whose career paths are on an upward trajectory, so that when we ask our clients to invest in an artist’s work it will hopefully prove to be a wise long-term investment. Finally, we try to work with artists who are easy to get along with and good personality fits for us, because of course we aim to form long-standing relationships based on mutual respect and friendship.
What is the core aesthetic that the gallery is founded on? Do you promote a particular focus or specialty?
Our aesthetic is based on artwork that we would like to live with. We have personally invested in the work of each artist we represent and consider that crucial. We have to love it enough to want to place it in our homes. We don’t have a particular specialty.
Do you represent emerging or established artists, or both?
Both emerging and established. Our artists run the gamut from those (Thomas Vu, Peter Wayne Lewis, Caio Fonseca) who have had extensive museum shows along with solo and group shows, to other artists who have only been in group exhibits and are early in their careers.
What is the cost range of works for sale?
Generally speaking, most of what we sell is under $20,000, but we do offer works from more established artists that runs quite a bit higher.
What do you want to convey about your gallery, to bother artists and art enthusiasts?
We hope that LOOC Art will continue to establish itself as a gallery with a great aesthetic and not a lot of attitude. We are having fun making our way in the art world and we hope that our artists and collectors will enjoy this journey with us, while also trusting our advice and guidance.
Visit LOOC Art on the web here.
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