“Artsicle, which launches today in New York City, aims to make the process easier on both sides with a try-before-you-buy model for selling fine art. Potential buyers pay a monthly fee of $50 for renting privileges. They can then browse Artsicle’s selection of art and select a work they would like to sample. Once a renter’s selected piece is delivered to her home, she can either keep it for as long as she’s willing to pay the $50 monthly fee, purchase it or exchange it for another piece to test out.
CEO Alexis Tryon says the price for the art will range from about $500 to $1,500 (fairly reasonable in the art world) from hand-selected, mostly young artists.
“We believe collecting original art should be accessible for everyone,” Tryon says. “We also believe in a future art economy that allows more artists to make a living from their work, while continuing to create.”
The company’s biggest expenses are insuring the work (obviously breakage is a concern when lugging fine art between strangers’ homes) and delivery costs. In order to cover these costs, the model will need to prove a successful way to not just rent art, but sell it. Art commissions are huge — according to University of Wisconsin’s art department, they can be as much as 50%. The startup plans to charge a lower rate than most galleries, but that still leaves a lot of room for profit.”