I have written a business plan, created a budget, and am engaged in guerilla postering at fairs and biennials. I am sending the business plan to the 100 wealthiest people on Earth, along with a budget for expenses that would allow me and my husband to work full time as artists without any distractions.
Posters have covered walls over the past 6 years for the Venice Biennale, ArtBasel, ArtBasel Miami,the Sydney Biennial, Sao Paolo Biennial, Gwangju Biennial, Berlin Biennial, Documenta, FIAC, The Whitney Biennial, Manifesta, and the Bienniale de Lyon.
Name: APEGallery (established 2011)
Location: virtual/global — www.apegallery.com
Owner: Alexandria Pembleton
Product: Cutting-edge artistic endeavor
APEGallery is a leader in avant-garde art practices with a unique approach and vision. APEGallery is branding, marketing, and selling concepts and objects of art to specific and select investors in order to create priceless artworks, which culminate in prodigious financial worth for the artists and investors involved. APEGallery provides enormous potential for those buying in, including increasing economic capital and sharply advancing gains in cultural, historical, and intellectual capital, thus proffering the opportunity for an overall increase in status within the current global hierarchy.
APEGallery intends to be a major influence in the art world. The work and artist choices, along with an international marketing and networking campaign, are designed to steer the course for financial prosperity. The artists represented by APEGallery will flourish within a business and economic framework. Further, APEGallery artists are generating works that will contribute to the historical art cannon.
Target market: Our target market comprises ultra-high-net-worth individuals and other distinguished persons with an interest in the world of contemporary fine art: patrons, curators, critics, gallerists, writers, and art collectors. These individuals choose us because of our relationship to them, and for our innovation and quality product, as well as for our extraordinary approach to the business of art.
Market strategy: APEGallery exploits both networking and marketing strategies unusual to the art world, yet highly successful in many other areas of business. Additionally, APEGallery utilizes singular and visionary approaches stemming from Ms. Pembleton’s assimilation of contemporary culture into an art practice focused on ways of connecting with others while simultaneously commenting on present-day society and hierarchies or fields of culture, economy, and status.
APEGallery’s advertising campaign markets products (objects of art), the organization itself (APEGallery), and Alexandria Pembleton (as the face of the gallery).
Large-scale poster images of APEGallery artists’ works are omnipresent at events of the global art market, with walls engulfing sites around art fairs and biennials worldwide. Works are shown in highly public areas, specifically targeting those most likely to buy into or represent APEGallery, one of its products, or one of its artists.
Art fairs and biennials are increasingly the most lucrative global loci for sales. Centralization of the market makes it easier and more financially viable for APEGallery to focus our endeavors on these culturally relevant events, which receive extensive press online, in magazines, and in newspapers.
Art fairs and biennials fit well with the APE brand’s contemporary strategies. Our marketing techniques for promoting and selling artwork employ both guerrilla and mainstream tactics with a drive to be seen in the most globally renowned art fairs and biennials, the current focus is on the American and European art economies. We will focus new efforts within the growing art economies of Russia, the Middle East, India, China, and Brazil, where wealth is increasingly being invested in cultural capital through art collecting. The innovative artworks produced by APE are the ideal product for these markets: Our target investors will include museum directors and gallerists as well as those art collectors who have established their collection based on an eye for the future and a willingness to risk for the sake of profit and a reputation for taste.
There are no other products or services on the market like those offered by APEGallery. This uniqueness guarantees that, even in a world that is heavily interconnected and where others will copy, nothing will equal the originality that APEGallery offers. Some influences for APE are Marcel Duchamp, Sophie Calle, John Baldessari, Yoko Ono and Andrea Fraser, artists, who created ripple effects in the art world through their conceptual overhaul of what an artwork can be––a readymade, an idea, a performance, a retooling of conventions.
APEGallery is ultimately a piece of conceptual art that allows the patron to be a determining factor in its outcome. The buyer purchases the art because of its promise and becomes a part of art history by supporting an artist who is creating a sea change within the art world context. The buyer becomes the one who “discovered” the artist and reaps the reward of social, cultural, and intellectual capital, forms of capital that cannot be purchased with funds alone. Recall Lorenzo the Magnificent, who discovered Michelangelo when he was only 15 years old, or Ambroise Vollard, the influential early 20th-century art dealer who identified the genius in Picasso, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. Vollard’s collection has been the envy of collectors ever since.
The contemporary art market is characterized by the following:
Industry sales of $6.8 billion in 2014 or 13% of the global art market
Estimated annual number of buyers currently at 2,123,000
High media exposure
Sustained desirability: Contemporary art holds 12% (a growth of nearly 20% since 2010) of the global art auction revenue, with a growth of over 1000% in the past 10 years and a price index increase of 105.6% in that same time; in 2010, revenue for contemporary art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s was up 255% in London and 230% over 2009
Resilience: The contemporary art market not only recovered in less than 18 months from the financial crisis that began in 2008, it experienced a global increase of 14.6%, bringing it back to the record levels of 2006; contemporary sculpture sales have tripled in the past decade
+1,800% over 15 years
RELEVANT MARKET SIZE
Our relevant market size is the annual revenue that our company could attain if we owned 1% market share. It is calculated as follows:
Number of customers who might be interested in purchasing our products and/or services each year: 2,123,000
Amount these customers might be willing to spend, on an annual basis, on our products and/or services: $936,000,000
Relevant market size: 198908609E x 15
The above figures demonstrate ample potential for our company to attain considerable success.
APEGallery is a cutting-edge global and virtual art gallery unique in its approach to the business of the art market. The owner is Ms. Alexandria Pembleton, a postconceptual social practices artist. Ms. Pembleton selects other artists based on their talent and on her relationship to them.
APEGallery will market and sell the work of its artists, to investors, providing an exciting source of future capital but also a swell in status.
Ms. Pembleton’s extensive research and art practice collided with economic and logistical reality when she became a mother in 2010. Feminist theories and conversations around motherhood and livelihood—seen in the work of Mary Kelly, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Andrea Fraser—took on immediacy, and she felt compelled to respond: To both her own desire for a secure, comfortable living as an artist and to an economy increasingly influenced by private individuals.
APE is the visionary result of this knowledge and experience, critiquing and responding to the current art world while also embracing its reality. Despite the downward economy, private patronage has increased, and as has been demonstrated, the art market is thriving.
Curators and gallerists generally feign a unifying theme among their artists or works––some idea that seemingly lends cohesion. Thematic confluence also satisfies branding needs in the marketplace. The reality, however, is that much of the time the reason artists appear in a show or gallery is due to nepotism, with preferential relationships between artists, gallerists, curators, and collectors. With APEGallery, this motive is apparent and is used to benefit Ms. Pembleton, Mr. Mason, and the artists selected.
Alexandria Pembleton is creating an artificial environment of financial success while forging relationships with those who can place her in an environment of immediate success. The marketing strategy makes this idea transparent. She is not trying to trick investors with the importance or unimportance of art; rather, pointing out the highly subjective notion of art while making art that confronts the bias.
The competitive and conceptual advantage is that this has not been done before.
1. Present a substantial return to our investors and patrons.
2. Provide a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle for the artists represented by APE.
3. Influence the sweep of art history and participate in defining art for the coming centuries, including the immediate direction of contemporary art practices.
4. Participate in a deliberate conversation around capitalism, financial practices, and how we value art and other forms of investment.
APEGallery invites investors to participate in this artistic sea change through direct financial contributions.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
All works are priced individually:
-Outcomes by Alexandria Pembleton
-Ephemera by Alexandria Pembleton
- Sculptures by Terry Mason
- Drawings by Terry Mason
- Prints of sculptural objects by Terry Mason
- Paintings by Scott DeBie
- Photographs by Laura Plageman
Ms. Pembleton has identified the steps the gallery needs to take to be positioned as both a thought leader and a financially viable enterprise:
• Design of a website featuring chosen artists and their work within a virtual gallery.
• Creation of a strong public image by 2018 through Ms. Pembleton’s marketing strategy of highly visible mass postering and letter writing to influential art buyers, critics, and writers. Guerrilla-marketing techniques throughout prominent biennials and fairs around the world will push our artists and their work. These international biennials and fairs––the trades routes of the art world––offer exposure of APEGallery to elites and the general public alike, creating curiosity and a buzz that increases the desirability of APE’s artists.
• Full-scale operation of Alexandria Pembleton’s artwork project of sending postcards and holiday cards to more than 200 of the most powerful people in the art world today. These cards express the mundane—moments, thoughts, and actions—and are part of an ongoing series that finds her work in the momentary spaces of motherhood. The work itself functions in the combined framework of antiquated storytelling and contemporary reality television, allowing for a voyeuristic look into the life of another, and addresses how we as humans form attachment, regard, dislike and other emotions toward the one we are meeting in a story.
• Development of a privileged financial framework to operate successfully by 2018. In fully realizing APEGallery, we will provide a substantial salary to all of our artists. We will also put ample finances toward all necessary equipment, materials, workspace, travel, and unforeseen costs in order to make APEGallery not only be but appear hyper-successful.
• Creation of the concept of being major players in the art world by 2020. With the growing success of its represented artists, APEGallery will already be profitable by 2018. APEGallery intends to show the work of Terry Mason at the 2017 Whitney Biennial and at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
APEGallery will target marketing and sales to high-net worth-individuals and contemporary art dealers, collectors, and curators. Exclusivity is essential to our approach. The framework we are creating relies on works that are exceptional and expensive. As in other luxury-goods markets, our work will be accessible only to a select group. Our first target group, contemporary art dealers, has a core of 500 dealers worldwide (the top 2 to 5%) who are responsible for half of all contemporary art sales. While this group is relatively small in number, focusing our efforts on marketing to them will result in a much higher return.
Members of our second target group, contemporary and avant-garde collectors, tend to be well established and willing and able to afford our works of art. On average, they have been actively collecting art for 30 years and tend to be older: 80% of contemporary art collectors are over 45 and 60% are over 55 years old. The top 2% of buyers have an annual income of more than $1 million, but 40% of collectors earn between $100,000 and $250,000, giving APEGallery a large swath of potential buyers. Moreover, this group of collectors sees the risk in future value of artworks as part of the allure, much like the collectors who bought Modernist works at the turn of the 20th century and saw the value of those works increase many times over.
Eighty percent of contemporary art buyers say that their key motivating factor for collecting art is simply aesthetics and passion for the artwork. Only a small percentage of buyers purchase art strictly as an investment. APEGallery intends to draw from commercial marketing techniques to convince buyers that the artwork we offer meets their needs. Due to our investment in making ourselves renowned, exclusive and popular, our buyers will feel that they must own and become a part of the art we make in order to fulfill their desire to remain prestigious. These investors will be known for their contributions to the art world and culture in general.
Artists in Our Target Market
Maurizio Cattelan, Italian
Sculpture, performance, conceptual
Price points: $17,189,000 for ,000 since 2010) for $7,922,500, Charlie for $2,994,500, Not Afraid of Love for $2,751,500, Stephanie for $2,434,500, Untitled for $2,023,500
Revenues: 2008–2009, E1.2 million; 2009–2010, E7.4 million
Collectors: Edlis, Joannou, Sandretto re Rebaudengo, Ganeks, Niarchos, Brown, Brant, Pinault
Key strengths: works are ingenious, inventive, unique (not assembly line), visually accessible to anyone, humorous, conceptually interesting with multiple layers of meaning
Matthew Barney, American
Video, sculpture, photography, drawing
Price points: Drawing Restraint 8 for 1,205,000; Cremaster 2 for $571,000; Cremaster Suite for $457,000; Cremaster 5: A Dance for The Queen’s Menagerie for $400,000; Cremaster 5 - Her Giant for $348,000; Cremaster 4: Manx Manuel for $206,500
Revenue: $1 million to $5 million
Key strengths: work is visually rich with different media and scales, sweeping, conceptually difficult to grasp, cinematic; Barney’s art-stardom augmented by marriage to pop singer Björk
Jeff Koons, American
Sculpture, printing, balloon modeling
Price points: Balloon Dog (orange) for 45,840,500; Jim Bean J.B. Turner Train for 43,765,000; Tulips for $33,682,500; Popeye for 28,165,000; Balloon Flower (Magenta) for $25,765,204; Pink Panther for $16,882,500; Large Vase of Flowers for $5,682,500; Loopy for $5,273,255; Winter Bears for $4,578,682; Saddle for $3,274,500; New Shelton Wet/dry 5-gallon for $3,106,500
Revenues: $117.2 million in 2008; annual studio revenue of $5 million to $10 million
Key strengths:, works are humorous, visually accessible to a broad audience with references to pop culture; artist is business minded, created production model in which he acts as CEO
Damien Hirst, British
Price points: The Golden Calf for $19,027,496; Lullaby Spring for $17,752,437; The Kingdom for $17,585,525; Fragments of Paradise for $9,551,682; Here Today, Gone Tomorrow for $5,431,763; Dantrolene for $1,713,565; Search of Nirvana for $1,743,143; Disintegration the Crown of Life for $1,039,500
Key strengths: works are visually beautiful and materially challenging, with fascinating subject matter, versatile media, incredible craftsmanship; works are available to a broad market; artist projects confidence
Sophie Calle, French
Installation art, sculpture, assemblage, mixed-media
Price points: Twenty Years Later for $64,800; Chambre D’hotel for $49,000; Autobiographical Stories (the Hostage) for $41,849; Autobiographical Stories (the Wedding Dress) for $40,310; Autobiographical Stories (the Hostage) for $37,234
Key strengths: works are conceptual yet narrative, so convey sincerity and intimacy with the viewer; voyeuristic and manipulative, with the viewer becoming immersed and seeing the work through an emotional lens rather than objectively
Anish Kapoor, British
Price points: Untitled for $3,577,800; Untitled for $2,841,000; Turning the World Upside Down #4 for $2,434,500; Untitled for $1,971,031; Turning the World Upside Down #4 for $1,874,500; Untitled for $1,806,235
Key strengths: works are visually clear, beautiful, fine finish
APEGallery is uniquely positioned to succeed for the following reasons:
The bold character, ingenuity, tenacity, business acumen, and resourcefulness of the founder, Alexandria Pembleton, who supported herself as a street kid, global traveler, and founder of an international bead and jewelry import-export company selling to 25 galleries in Kenya, Namibia, the UK, and USA.
The art of founder Alexandria Pembleton, which will be prominently featured within the context of APEGallery, as it addresses universal experiences that are expressed singularly through her own personal experience. Its voyeuristic nature appeals to a consumer public that desires to peer into the personal lives of others.
The art of Terry Mason, which stands up against the work of such artists as Marc Quinn, Jeff Koons, Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst, and Chris Burden.
The implementation of guerrilla marketing techniques that compels consumers to be immersed in APEGallery.
And most significantly, APEGallery’s original contribution to the historical art canon, redefining the approach to and application of the manufacturing and consumption of art for future generations.
Through ingenuity of ideas and artworks, entrepreneurial means, brazen perseverance, and the marketing of its visionary founder, Alexandria Pembleton, APEGallery will nurture and promote its selected artists. The gallery has as its express goals to create wealth and influence for its artists and to establish its deserved position as the foremost sociocultural and commercial institution of its time.
APEGallery was established by the artist, Alexandria Pembleton, in February 2011. The motivation behind its establishment has been Alexandria Pembleton’s intention to be able to support herself and her family through her art and for her art to have a critical impact.
Alexandria Pembleton (b. New York City) left her parental home at a young age in order to pursue street life happenings and eventually global travel to nearly every continent. Most of her 20s were spent out of a backpack. Work ranged from tracking and selling beads along ancient Asian and African trade routes to being a live-in chef to doctors stationed in a conflict zone in Africa.
She has participated in exhibitions with numerous galleries: the Luggage Store and Southern Exposure in San Francisco, ISE gallery in New York, the National Gallery in Windhoek, Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Los Angeles, the Berlin Office in Berlin, Koh-i-noor Gallery in Copenhagen, Fringe Exhibitions in Los Angeles, the Richmond Art Center in Richmond (California), Facere Gallery in Seattle, 2nd City Council in Long Beach, and other galleries throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. She completed her MFA in social practices at the California College of the Arts (2006).
Ms. Pembleton has also instigated and curated many interventions: in 2012 at the Berlin Biennial, Documenta, and ArtBasel; in 2011 at the Venice Biennale, Frieze London, Scope London, Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Biennale de Lyon, Art Basel Miami, and Scope Miami; in 2007 at the Venice Biennale, Documenta, Prague Biennial, and Munster Sculpture Project; in 2006 at the Tate Modern; and in 2005 in Central Park during the exhibit of The Gates of Jean Claude and Christo and at the Prague Biennial.
She currently lives and works from Oakland, San Francisco, New York, Mexico and Europe. Her work is imprinted by her global experiences, expressing that while we may be culturally diverse, we share more similarities than differences. The nature of her work is opinionated but not dogmatic, inviting alternative insights and healthy discussion. Thus her work exists with the intention to heighten awareness of our human experience. A diverse range of subjects inform her practice all related to human nature and experience: primatology, economics, sociology, brain physiology, and biochemistry.
Ms. Pembleton has qualities that are sweet and sensitive, rendering her vulnerable. But like most human beings, she equally possesses contradictory qualities, such as audacity, disobedience, bravado and ambition. This mixture makes her humble enough, and bodacious enough, to lead APEGallery to its success.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1986). Distinctions: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. London: Routledge.
According to Globalization and the Art Market (European Fine Art Foundation, 2009); The Global Art Market in 2010: crisis and recovery (The European Fine Art Foundation, 2011), these areas have seen the most growth in contemporary art collecting as well as a swift recovery post GFC.
Despite growing income equality (Gini Index), art sales continue to soar. Andrea Fraser (“L’1%, C’est Moi,” 2011) outlines how, despite a global financial crisis and wealth disparity, the prices for art continue to rise, making art collecting a viable investment (Mei Moses Annual All Art Index).
Tefaf 2015 pg 7
artprice, Art Market Trends 2010 pg 7
artprice, Art Market Trends 2010 pg 8
artprice, Art Market Trends 2010 pg 8
Contemporary Art Market 2009/2010 The Artprice Annual Report 2010 p8
artprice, Art Market Trends 2010 pg 11
artprice, Art Market Trends 2010 p7
artprice The Contemporary Art Market 2015 p20
Cinoa The Role of Art and Antique Dealers An Added Value Dr. Clare McAndrews p 49