BeinArt Gallery is taking the Australian by storm, how and when did the idea come about and how have you seen it grow over the past few months?
beinArt Gallery actually evolved from the beinArt Collective which was founded in 2003 by Jon Beinart. Starting as an online gallery featuring Jon and a handful of other Australian artists, the Collective quickly grew into a network of hundreds of artists from every point of the globe. In 2010, we held our first international group exhibition at the renowned Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. In the years since, we have shown hundreds of artists in additional prominent galleries, such as Last Rites Gallery in New York. Exhibiting the work of emerging artists alongside that of established artists in these venues has assisted many in the Collective in gaining exposure, attracting new collectors and networking with other artists.
Tell us a bit more about the gallery space itself and exhibitions you’ve hosted in the last few months?
We have a beautiful space in Brunswick, an inner suburb of Melbourne Australia. We are located in a beautiful laneway just off Sydney Rd, which is the longest shopping strip in the Southern Hemisphere. Brunswick is a very diverse and creative community and we are so lucky to be surrounded by design studios, artist collectives, high end galleries and independant jewellers and underground and subversive art venues.
The collective is a big part of the BeinArt, what prompted the creation of it and what are you looking for when inviting artists to become a part of it?
The Collective was formed in 2003 as mentioned earlier, and will always form the foundation of what we do. The formation of the collection was more like an evolution. It began when I started to create an online gallery for my own work and very quickly realised that I could promote the work of my artist friends in Australia in the same way. It got to the point that I had so many “guest” artists on the site that I decided to call it a collective and move the emphasis away from my own work. At first it was the Underground Australian Art Collective but I began receiving more and more submissions from international artists so I decided to relaunch the site as the beinArt Surreal Art Collective.
Although the methods of working and concept are all very different and wonderful, one can help but notice that a fair few of the works have quite a dark, atmospheric slightly macabre feel to them. Is this something that is intentional or just the way things have developed naturally?
The work of the artists in the Collective, as well as the work we show in the Gallery is really quite varied. As you say, there may be a sometimes dark and atmospheric or even macabre feel to some but there are also works that we show that are luminous or light-hearted or even humorous! I guess it also depends on the perspective of the viewer. Some see darkness where I might see light and vice versa. Either way, all of the artists in the selective and shown in the gallery are artists who produce work that I personally love and find constantly fascinating and inspiring. That is always my motivation when selecting artists.
You also offer artists the chance to reach the international art market and sell unique items through the online store, tell us a bit more about the types of pieces available?
All work in our inventory is available through our online store. The majority of the original pieces are works that have been exhibited in our gallery (though some come through private collections) and we also stock a range of limited edition prints. In addition to these we also stock a range of speciality books plus jewellery, all hand made by local jewellers, and a range of other curios. We like to stock pieces that others might find inspiring or thought provoking. For example, perfumes and scented candles, hand crafted, can stimulate the senses and be an olfactory muse if you like! And bone sculptures and diaphonised specimens can give an insight into the beauty of the natural world. Basically, if it is strange and provokes curiosity, you can find it here!
FOR MORE INFO VISIT www.beinart.org
INTERVIEW by ART WEEK / HANNAH SMITH