Calling all Houston artists.
A new website is selling art in flash sales, a la Groupon deals and designer clothes, and it's on the lookout for artists to promote.
"We want to help independent artists get exposure and bring art in affordable ways to the masses," said LTD co-founder Adrian Salamunovic, who launched the new art venture earlier last week.
This isn't Salamunovic's first foray into the art market. Before LTD, he and co-founder Nazim Ahmed formed CanvasPop, which lets people print custom, high-quality canvases of their photographs (namely, Instagram shots). And before that, they founded the sci-fi DNA 11, which creates portraits using people's DNA.
LTD is a chance to promote artists themselves, from up-and-comers to established photographers on the Instagram scene. It reminds us of the local effort from UNIT, which sells limited editions of prints at affordable prices. Salamunovic is calling his site the Fab.com of the art world and the first flash website for art of its kind.
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Here's how it works: Salamunovic and company find artists, from established photographers with followings on Instagram to artists who reached out to them. The artist selects a piece to go on sale -- typically, given the broad consumer market, something with wide appeal that would "look great on a living room wall," said Salamunovic. Every Tuesday, a new print goes up for sale, starting at $49 for a 12" x 12" (a regular value of $299) and $99 for a 20" x 20" (a regular value of $399). It stays up for a week, or until 1,000 prints are sold, and then a new work goes up the next Tuesday. LTD handles all the materials and shipping costs, and the site splits the profits 50/50 with the artist. The prints come stretched and ready to hang.
So far, nearly 100,000 people have registered for LTD, which first sold a print by Cole Rise, the man behind the Instagram logo (the "Rise" filter is also named after him). LTD is currently selling a very summer-appropriate beach print by LA artist Lauren Randolph. Future artists include photojournalist Richard "Koci" Hernandez, another notable Instagram photographer.
LTD is also on the lookout for more artists to promote, in particular photographers and digital artists, and Salamunovic encouraged artists from Houston's art scene to reach out and apply.
"We really want to grow the community," said Salamunovic. "In a small way, we see ourselves as a record label for artists. We're helping artists promote themselves."