A Q&A with Tze Chun, Founder of Uprise ArtThe Art Dossier on December 30, 2011 with 0 Comments
Favorite city in the world?
Battersby in Brooklyn for a delicious and relaxed night out. I cook a fair amount but also love to order-in from Westville. Their market sides are great.
Last good book you read?
I’m part of a “ladies’ book club” and we recently read Ready Player One. It’s nerd-tastic.
Strangest thing you have in your home?
I have over twenty Christmas mugs. I don’t see the point in using anything else when drinking out of holiday mugs is so much more fun.
Uprise Art is a NYC art collectors club offering exclusive access to exceptional art. The monthly membership is a subscribe-to-own deal where members are slowly building their collection by investing in installments. For every work you choose, Uprise Art hand delivers the custom framed work to your home and professionally installs the artwork for you.
The Art Dossier sits down with Tze Chun, Founder of Uprise Art to discuss her latest project and the inspiration for her art collectors club.
TAD: Your background is in performing arts, can you tell us why the transition into contemporary art?
TC: In college, I double majored in Arts in America through the American Studies department and Dance, and also managed a small business for two years through Columbia’s entrepreneurial program. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to be an artist or entrepreneur, or some combination of the two.
I started a modern dance company in 2006 and have been working in the non-profit performing arts since. For the past two years, my dance company has been in residency at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and the institutional support has made it possible for me to return to my other love of visual arts.
TAD: How did the concept of Uprise Art start?
TC: I have a lot of friends who wish they were more involved in the arts. In a city like New York with thousands of amazing artists and where you can get pretty much anything delivered to your door I felt like there had to be an easier way.
The main friction points that keep people from actually collecting are: finding the time to visit galleries, feeling that they have researched enough to be comfortable selecting a work, and making the large up-front investment.
I created Uprise Art to remove each of these obstacles and connect New Yorkers who are interested in art with exceptional artists. Uprise collectors select artwork from our curated online gallery and the pieces are then expertly custom-framed, hand-delivered, and professionally installed in their homes. They subscribe to artwork on a monthly basis and all subscription fees are deducted from the purchase price, so our collectors are subscribing-to-own, building their art collection and relationships with artists more organically and investing in installments over time.
Uprise Art has a duel mission statement, to make art collecting easier and more enjoyable and to offer a sustainable model for artists to create and sell their work. I similarly talked with as many artists as possible about their priorities, goals and fears.
The timing of sales is unpredictable, so most artists rely on other jobs for income. Often they can’t dedicate enough time to creating new artwork. Uprise gives artists unparalleled exposure and also supports them through consistent compensation. Instead of waiting years until they have both time and money to invest in starting an art collection, Uprise collectors can enjoy exciting contemporary artwork now. Instead of waiting for the next sale, Uprise artists are compensated monthly and gain exposure for their art in the most intimate place – the home.
TAD: What is different about Uprise Art from the other online art galleries/shops?
TC: This is an exciting time for art and tech and new online art galleries are making art more accessible. Uprise isn’t so much a tech company as it is an online platform to facilitate bringing art collecting back to the way it used to be – with patrons supporting and commissioning artists they have real relationships with.
There are several innovative affordable art websites that are making art more accessible by offering prints in large editions. Uprise focuses on supporting artists whose work may not fit this model. Instead of changing the way an artist creates work, we’ve changed the way collectors can access original art.
The Uprise subscription service allows a larger audience to engage with an artist’s work at an affordable price without altering the value of the work. Our goal is to introduce artists to collectors earlier in both their careers so that artists can continue to create significant works of art while collectors invest in their collections over time.
TAD: What are the criteria for selecting artists for your roster?
TC: I select artists whose work I want to collect and work with curators that I admire. Besides the curatorial considerations, I look for artists who are very active and motivated and also try to offer a range of diverse mediums in the gallery. Uprise artists work in everything from coffee stain to oil on canvas.
TAD: Which artist would you most like to work with?
TC: Jim Campbell. I’m fascinated by his approach to installation art and the discourse around public art.
TAD: What is your advice for someone who is just starting to collect art?
TC: The options for art are overwhelming. Start identifying what you like, and more importantly why you like it. Engage with every piece you see. Note your gut reaction, how you feel about the work after a closer look, and what aspects of the piece are similar to those in other works you like.
Knowing what you like is not necessarily liking what you know. You might be interested in art that is foreign to you, or you don’t understand.
TAD: What are some of the upcoming projects you have planned?
TC: I’m very excited for The Art Dossier Collection featured exhibition to launch on the site next week.
We hosted a studio visit for our collectors with painter Cecile Brunswick in November and a number of guests expressed interest in her smaller pastel and oil works on paper, so we’re adding three of these works on the site in January, as well as new works by Uprise artists Charlie Engman and Jesse Weiss.
To learn more about Uprise Art and to become a member, please visit: www.upriseart.com