Membership has its privileges. Excuse the American Express slogan, but it seems appropriate in the case of Independent Collectors. The robust website offers an array of services to its members, the most basic of which include the ability to search through users’ collections, favorite artists, and rated galleries. This wouldn’t mean much if the site didn’t host a few good pieces, and thankfully that’s the case. An actual person reviews applications so the network isn’t overrun with spam, and many of the search queries I’ve run bring back art by artists I actually like. The database may not be flush yet, but the site is growing and in a positive direction.
At present, Independent Collectors is primarily a marketplace. Pay a nominal fee, and you earn the privilege to mark works as ones you’re willing to part with and receive special offers at art fairs and other events. I’m convinced however, that the site would be useful to curators, so I hope accounts such as these appear in the future. After all, what collector doesn’t want to see their art placed in a museum show?
Of course, if their ad campaign is any indication, at least a couple members have already had work from their collections exhibited. Newsletter services such as e-flux and re-title recently ran their distinctive ads “Our members like: Eliasson, Meese, Tillmans, and Monk. And Hirst? Maybe not so much.” From a press perspective, the most useful aspect of this site will be the degree to which it makes members taste transparent.
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