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September 11, 2013

The Art of Buying Art

By Ingrid Skjong | Art

The Art of Buying Art
Chris Jehly

Supporting emerging artistic talent is nothing new, but for online art-buying platform @60”, bolstering the promise of on-the-rise talent will always be a priority.

“It was important for us to be able to build a community of artists that are affordable yet on the verge of mainstream gallery representation,” says co-founder Kipton Cronkite. “We build their careers and our collectors are able to take advantage of our insider knowledge before these artists are widely recognized.”

The site, which debuted late last year, is no slouch, having won a pair of 2013 Webby Awards for (naturally) Best Art and Best Home/Welcome Page. Paintings, photographs and sculptures—from $100 to $50,000—fill the inventory; roughly 50 talents, like painter Tony Ingrisano and photo portraitist Wenjun Liang, make up the roster.

Cronkite and his team try to make the process as easy and engaging as possible. A new Virtual Art Advisory service, which launched earlier this week, helps collectors glean expert advice: Complete a thorough questionnaire and a consultant will recommend specific pieces based on the findings. A try-before-you-buy feature allows you to test-run true-to-size watermarked replicas on your walls. And the Living with Art section features various influencers illustrating how they integrate art into their lives. (Profiles include design entrepreneur Stuart Parr and interior designer Thom Filicia.)

The site’s curatorial board of gallery owners, art professors and advisors vets the artists, and the staff is always on the lookout for a new find, scouting the country and tapping the expertise of curators, museum insiders and collectors along the way. After all, you never know what the next big thing might be.

“Rising stars bring a unique, modern voice that pushes the constraints on traditional definitions of art,” says Cronkite. “We’re very proud of the talent that we have secured.” 212-486-2608; at60inches.com.