Convergence of Art and Collaborative Consumption: Artist Brian Ermanski
Patronage has always been central to the art world. In the same way, the concept of artists trading their work for various core needs continues to be relevant today. It is safe to say that artists, as a group, epitomize collaborative consumption.
It is recorded that Andy Warhol provided the Chelsea Hotel with art in exchange for rent. And since Burning Man’s early beginnings in 1986, the annual week long event has fostered the creation of art, community and extreme self-reliance, while prohibiting the use of currency in favor of barter. More recently, in 2005 graffiti artist David Choe traded murals commissioned for Facebook’s offices in Palo Alto in exchange for Facebook stock. Now standing to join the art elite, his stock is currently valued at $200 million.
These examples of collaborative consumption are nothing new to New York City artist, Brian Ermanski. As the focus of Paul Stone’s short film The Prince of Elizabeth Street, Ermanski reflects on his evolution as an artist. His art has allowed him to build his brand while holding up shop, painting on the corner of Prince and Elizabeth street. Following an assault by a bouncer in 2006, he was left with chronic pain and numbness for years. To support himself, Ermanski slowly sold off all his possessions outside his New York City building and kept only his paintings which he now sells for up to $10,000.
With a new perspective on life he continued his recovery and struggled to return to art. In late 2007, a friend offered him housing in exchange for paintings. This offer turned into two years of housing while additional offers rolled in, including exhibit spaces in exchange for art. He even scored an iPad by trading a painting a little over a year ago. “My art is my currency,” says Ermanski. The same form of currency has made it possible for him to get access to a 2,000-square-foot loft in Tribeca to work on his canvases and store his art collection.
In December, 2011 after dreaming for six long years of the opportunity to showcase his artwork during Art Basel Miami, it became a reality. “Friend and fashion designer, Duncan Quinn, offered me space in his boutique and sponsorships to exhibit my art,” says Ermanski. He was in good company, located in The Moore Building and adjacent to Christian Dior’s first-ever pop-up shop in the heart of Miami’s design district. “A very high-profile place to show and that is where my journey has led me,” adds Ermanski. “Duncan even traded me a handmade suit I designed, for a painting he wanted made.”
Ermanski credits various people and opportunities with furthering his growth and survival as an artist. A proponent of incorporating barter and trade, Ermanski’s latest initiative is his profile on Tradepal. Having embraced collaborative consumption early on, Tradepal allows artists to host their collections online and enables them to seamlessly sell and trade within the platform. “With Tradepal, I have a virtual gallery where I am not only connected to all my collectors but also their friends which allows me to build my own distribution channel,” says Ermanski.
With art patrons spanning well beyond Nolita, his admirers remain on notice as part of his personal network while engaging new friends who have also discovered him and his art. The power of collaborative consumption symbolizes artists like Brian Ermanski who have sustained themselves by trading skills in exchange for life’s necessities. Through Tradepal, users create a free profile and become members of a trusted community reaching beyond their circle to discover, share, buy, sell and trade.
“It is powerful to know that each time I list new pieces, my network on Tradepal will automatically be notified,” says Ermanski.
Source Huffington Post
Brian Ermanski’s Profile on Tradepal