And now a new Austin startup, Twyla, has got the solution.
The company officially launched on Thursday. It provides a new way to discover and buy art by providing access to limited-edition artworks by leading contemporary artists.
Instead of a consumer going to a gallery to haggle with an artist, Twyla takes the pain out the art acquisition process. It negotiates with artists to create exclusive prints at a fraction of the price of their original pieces. The company also displays its artwork at select “showrooms” including boutique hotels and venues across the country such as South Congress Hotel in Austin and Soho House West Hollywood.
The company works with artists worldwide. It currently is collaborating with more than 80 artists including Miya Ando, Travis Boyer, Guy Dill and Kristen Schiele to create more than 300 pieces, which range in price from $1,000 to $5,000. The artwork is also framed. Twyla’s artists have displayed their works in some of the world’s most influential museums and galleries including Whitney Museum of American Art, The Guggenheim, LACMA, MoMA, Gagosian Gallery, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Palais de Tokyo.
“We started Twyla after experiencing firsthand how frustrating it can be to buy art,” Matt Randall, co-founder and CEO of Twyla, said in a news release. “Artists are stifled by seller limitations, while consumers are expected to expertly navigate the complicated, opaque world of art buying. The artists are selected by the Twyla collective, which is composed of our experienced curators and creatives, that identifies what’s now, next and perfectly suited to Twyla’s clients’ tastes.”
Twyla also sends the artwork to a customers home in safe packaging and provides a kit with instructions on how to hang the art. In 12 U.S. cities, customers can opt to have their artwork installed by a professional art handler.
HomeAway co-founder and chairman Brian Sharples is one of the company’s co-founders. He recently stepped down as CEO of HomeAway and now serves as chairman of the board of Twyla. David Krane, CEO of GV (formerly Google Ventures) is board member; art community veteran and former president of Christie’s Doug Woodham and CEO of The Standard Hotels International Amar Lalvani. Twyla has raised over $19 million led by GV and joined by IVP and Redpoint Ventures.
“There’s a huge gap in the art buying market between posters and Picassos,” Krane, CEO of GV and Twyla board member said in a news release. “Twyla fills that void, finally speaking to a new generation of buyers who want to invest in art they love at a price they can afford.”