Auction  August 8, 2023  Rebecca Schiffman

Phillips' Game-Changing Dropshop Platform Will Directly Benefit Artists

Image courtesy the artist and Phillips.

Cj Hendry, Crown, 2023

In a groundbreaking move that promises to reshape the art market landscape, Phillips has announced a new platform, Dropshop, that will offer limited edition releases of artworks in direct partnerships with the artists themselves. This platform marks a significant departure from the traditional auction house model, positioning Philips as a pioneer of sorts for direct-to-consumer art sales, while simultaneously offering artists an unprecedented royalty on resales. 

Dropshop is set to bridge the gap between artists and collectors, changing how art will be bought and sold at auction. As consumers increasingly seek streamlined and accessible avenues for art acquisition, this bold venture is primed to meet this demand head-on.

Courtesy Phillips

Dropshop logo

How will this work, exactly? The online platform will have regularly scheduled “drops” once a month with works by contemporary artists and brands. These drops will be collaborations between the artists and the house directly, giving artists behind the scenes access to work through promotion and fabrication of their sale. The works will be available to purchase online, but as Phillips said in their release, “offerings are exclusive…once they’re gone, they’re gone.” 

To make this happen, Phillips brought on Christine Miele as their New Retail Sales Director, Ecommerce back in the spring, coming over from the Kehinde Wiley Shop. Dropshow was “created in response to the generational shift of contemporary artists taking a more active role in self-representation," said Miele in a statement. She continued, promising that Dropshow will present “a culturally diverse range of artists, spanning both emerging and blue-chip names.” 

Image courtesy the artist and Phillips.

Cj Hendry, Crown, 2023

The new platform will launch on August 20, with work by Australian hyperrealist artist Cj Hendry. Her ‘drop’ will feature one hundred sculptures that look like inflatable balloon crowns but are actually made of bronze, along will a large scale drawing of one of the crowns. 

The real change here from regular secondary market sales is the royalty structure for artists. The traditional auction house model lacks direct benefits for artists due to its limited compensation structure and lack of control over pricing and presentation, not to mention its opaque transactions. Dropshop aims to address these issues by providing artists with a percentage of the resale price whenever their works change hands: this includes works purchased in Dropshop, but also any works subsequently resold in a Phillips auction or exhibition. This novel approach not only eliminates intermediaries, but offers artists ongoing financial support, and will strengthen the bond between creators and collectors. 

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