Newspaper article International New York Times

Tapping Deep Pockets to Fund Small Ventures ; Art Basel Lends Its Luster to Crowdfunding Pages for Entry-Level Projects

Newspaper article International New York Times

Tapping Deep Pockets to Fund Small Ventures ; Art Basel Lends Its Luster to Crowdfunding Pages for Entry-Level Projects

Article excerpt

Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding group, has teamed up with Art Basel to set up web pages aimed at getting investors interested in new art projects.

Art Basel, known for its focus on high-end art and the patrons who can afford it, is taking an interest in the entry level.

Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding group, has teamed up with Art Basel to set up web pages aimed at getting investors interested in new art projects. The projects are vetted by three Art Basel- selected jurors, and donations can be made through the pages.

In the three months since the project was started, nonprofit art organizations have raised more than $160,000 through the collaboration, according to Marc Spiegler, the director of Art Basel.

"I would like to think it is a harbinger of possibilities of the crowdfunding of modern art," Mr. Spiegler said in a recent interview.

Although crowdfunding has been around for years, the Art Basel initiative harnesses the connections of a powerful player in the art world, capable of directing thousands of art-conscious backers to a project's sponsors.

"They might have great home community, but their reach, in terms of getting the word out there, doesn't come close to what Art Basel can do," said Glenn Phillips of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, referring to projects on the crowdfunding pages. Mr. Phillips is one of the three selected jurors.

The Kickstarter Art Basel pages often try to raise money for less commercially salable aspects of contemporary art, such as a website or online magazine, artist studios or retrospective studies.

"We are looking at projects that are completely vital to contemporary art today," Mr. Phillips said.

Once a project's application is approved, it is added to the small group of active Kickstarter Art Basel pages and is promoted to the social media followers Art Basel has collected: more than 300,000 on Facebook, 150,000 on Twitter and 90,000 on Instagram.

"The financial support is crucial, but there is also the visibility of being on the Art Basel homepage," Mr. …

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