ART has always involved shopping, but until now it has more often been the preserve of the forbidding art gallery than of the department store. Now, however, all that is changing. A milestone in art’s sudden and rapid democratisation comes with the opening of a large, 2,500 sq-ft art gallery on the ground floor of Selfridges in Oxford Street.
Shoppers seeking a humble T-shirt may well stumble upon the latest shocking offering by one of the young British art crowd. The first exhibition, appropriately enough, is of fashion photography (until 17 October), while the first “art” show, opening next week (18 October to 25 November), features Asylum, a film installation by Matt Collishaw - Tracey Emin’s boyfriend.
Alongside will hang portraits of the British art world’s biggest players - Emin herself, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Jay Jopling and Sam Taylor-Wood - taken by Rory Carnegie for Art Crazy Nation, a new and irreverent book on the scene, by TV art critic Matthew Collings.
The gallery is run by InsideSpace, a new company whose mission, according to MD Helena Djurkovic, is to make art accessible. For accessible, also read cheap. Prices for limited-edition works in Selfridges start at £50, but the real thing still requires a fat wallet. As Djurkovic observes: “You could buy a lot of T-shirts for the £20,000 or so you’d need to buy the Collishaw piece.”
Future exhibitions will feature unknowns as well as figures such as Abigail Lane.
The gallery also sells via the internet at insidespace.com