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Cultural Innovation: How Beledor, the new online art gallery is changing the game

Beledor

Innovation, especially through technology, has become a rapid, necessary part of our culture. It’s what we do with that innovation that matters most. When it comes to fine art, tech-infused work has become ‘new media,’ but what becomes of tech-infused galleries? Typically online galleries serve as a placeholder for a shop, or a way to view a portfolio on the internet, but Beledor, a new innovative online gallery channels the framework of a traditional brick-and-mortar gallery, with most importantly, an emphasis on curation.

The founders of Beledor.com, Kevin Colas and Kate Walling, are seeking to change web-based art galleries by making Beledor a new, important, way to discover and collect art. Their model is that of one founded on transparency, personality and relationship with both collector and artist. 

Colas is a former investment banker and Walling, a tech entrepreneur, who bonded over their mutual love of art. Colas had personally been investing in artworks for years while Walling fell in love with the art world on a family vacation to France. The two merged their expertise and Beledor was founded. 

In a typical online gallery, the artist is responsible for photographing, storing, packaging and shipping the artwork. With Beledor, the owners work as gallerists, curating artists and their work by not only combing through social media and submissions but also by connecting with open studios and making direct contact with artists through personal visits as well as attending exhibitions, art fairs and galleries and collaborations...similar to that of a traditional gallery owner. 

Unlike many online galleries, Beledor’s devotion to curation has made them stand-out. The artists they work with are welcome to market themselves through any and all available channels. For collectors and artists alike, Beledor’s complete transparency has only furthered their likeability...and success. For collectors, each artist and piece of work includes a backstory for along with the history of the artist, providing not only information that may play into the connection of buyer-to-work but in building a personal and genial atmosphere. 

With Beledor’s Spring 2018 launch, Colas and Walling are featuring upwards of 22 artists and 86 pieces of work (and counting), along with co-produced limited editions. The artists that they have chosen are emerging and mid-career contemporary artists that appeal to the Silicon Valley tech audience that is new to buying art. The artists represent a diverse array of cultures and experiences including:

Emerging Vietnamese ArtistsWe have a collection of eight gorgeous large format oils from emerging artists that Kevin found on a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. The artists all skillfully use knife or brush impasto and fill their work with a depth of color, light and complexity that capture attention and fill the room of their presence.”

Alberto Ybarra, Lost in Punslation Series: “San Francisco painter and mural artist, Alberto Ybarra, created a series of four very large oil paintings on canvas called Lost in Punslation. The series is a statement on how social media and the media, in general, have a tendency to reduce important issues into soundbites that lose their meaning; how people are able to state one-lines that drain the original messages of their power - so that they don’t have to actually engage in discussion on the issues. Each of the canvases has one of these one-liners, like Stop Police Brutality or Stop Anti-Violence which shows a stern hand shielding off a line of ants shooting a gun.”

Sarah Lovrien: “Sarah has been an independent photographer since 2005 creating content for national and international brands such as Microsoft, Amazon, American Eagle Outfitters, Yelp!, GUESS and many more. She began her photographic study of the female form in early 2010. In a mostly male-dominated genre, her involvement as a female artist lent to her empowered perspective, launching a collection of works that provided a more complex examination of femininity. Sarah is launching an exclusive limited edition with Beledor of her most popular images from this period. Her work has since influenced a renaissance in nude portraiture and paid homage to the raw, classic aesthetic she still incorporates into her work today.”

Benedict Cressy: “We have ten works by Ben Cressy whose paintings are a discovery of an uncertain narrative scene (typically of a room) caught in an awkward moment. With each piece, he gives us a mystery, a scene to unravel.  He is interested in a distorted perspective and varied paint handling to amplify one's perception of the relationship of elements within the painting. Ben has a very consistent style with an emphasis on colors and perspective and themes coming back into many pieces like the idea of artwork inside the artwork or decorative arts patterns. His work stands in the long line of painters from the Dutch Golden Age to David Hockney and more recently Shara Hughes who found and shows the visual and spiritual attraction to interiors expressing something else, something of the personality of the owner, tenant or artist imagination…”

Taylor Lowe: “Our surfer artist with a bubbly personality has a deep message to pass along on the environment and the status of women. She is drawn to the process of painting dead fish, blood, and the female body because it allows her to create symbolic connections between humans and fish. The seductive way she uses her materials and develops her compositions unveils deeply personal narratives, vulnerabilities, and her spiritual connection to the ocean. Her paintings move the senses by giving an intensification of reality and question how the divine feminine fits into current environmental, political, and social practices. It is a statement to promote a fight for the protection of the ocean and it gives a female voice to shadowed emotions produced by death or loss, abuse, or sexual violence, revealing itself as a collective anxiety about the future of the planet and feminism.”

Creating an online gallery has proved to have its own set of challenges as Colas and Walling strive to make sure that their original intentions of bringing together artists and buyers are always met. They have found that there is a lot of interest for buying art with the tech sector and as tech-savvy founders, they hope to leverage that interest and knowledge without encroaching on the creativity of their artists.

Both Walling and Colas have lengthy lists of artists that they have long admired and found inspirational, albeit from different genres. Colas loves Symbolist Edvard Munch as well as greats like Goya, Matisse, etc while Walling enjoys the quirk of an artist injecting pop culture into their works or a female presence or message of social impact. Both love knowing an artists’ background and story and how they transform that into their work.

 By way of innovation, tech and passion, the founders of Beledor hope to further open the door for younger generations of art lovers, especially with the influence of social media, such as Instagram. Beledor is the next step for engaging and connecting new fans and buyers with emerging talent. As Beledor grows, Kevin Colas and Kate Walling hope to expand their reach and create new heights and opportunities for both artists and buyers. Keep up with their growing roster of talented artists as well as their future plans for pop-up exhibitions in San Francisco and beyond.

Visit Beledor.com to see more of the future of art.

 

Carly Zinderman

Carly Zinderman is a Senior Staff Writer for JustLuxe, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines and online publications, but loves fashion and style best. In her spare time, when she?s not writing, Carly enjoys watching old movies, reading an...(Read More)

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