New York City is the place where the most harebrained, ambitious, and maybe even useless ideas will have their day. “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” presupposes that here, you’ll at least get a chance.
It’s only within these permissive operating conditions that something like Wall-(m)Art, an art “gallery” that will put a frame around a graffiti on a public wall and give you a certificate of authenticity as “owner” of the art, can exist. Flourish? That’s to be determined, but we can’t see this taking off a la the cronut.
The idea sprang from the trenchant observation that “New York has some of the best, most bad ass and unique street art in the world,” as Wall-(m)Art’s website puts it. Interested buyers can peruse Wall-(m)Art’s gallery of street art, which currently offers nine graffiti for purchase, as well as one “custom” option. Three-to-four weeks after selecting your piece, a gilded frame and accompanying plaque will appear around the artwork “in its urban location.” Prices run from $111-$295. Returns and exchanges are not allowed.
But why would you want to return ownership of that which you didn’t create in the first place? As Wall-(m)Art’s website states: “When you purchase a work from us, your name will be added to a plaque next to the piece as proof of ownership so the whole world knows it’s yours, all yours.”
Not much is known about the man behind the company—only, according to the New York Post, that he is the creative director of a New York City ad agency who wants to remain anonymous due to the illegality of Wall-(m)Art’s operation. Leaving aside the obvious metaphor for the overt capitalization of unfettered creativity that will be its own downfall, Wall-(m)Art seems doomed to fail mostly because it’s silly (and un-Googleable). So far, four people have bought piece, although one frame has already been taken down.
Follow Phillip Pantuso on Twitter @phillippantuso.