Jean-Michel Basquiat, Emily Dickinson, Gil-Scott Heron, Vincent Van Gogh. The list goes on and on. Some of art’s greatest works have been produced by individuals who lived destitute lives, rife with struggles and addictions, and often simultaneously grappling with mental illnesses that were both blessings and curses. Many of these tortured souls, most notably Van Gogh, lived in squalor and died impoverished, yet went on to achieve posthumous renown. The untold stories are those of the myriad equally brilliant aspiring artists who experienced similar difficulties, but were not resurrected by fame. Frustrated with their failed attempts at success and lack of notoriety, many abandoned idealism in favor of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness in the form of the almighty dollar. Ultimately, what set Van Gogh apart from Michelangelo, DaVinci and Bernini, was not talent so much as access to resources. During the Renaissance, that meant having a patron. In our era, when visionaries can often be found in front of a MacBook instead of an easel, patrons take the form of entrepreneurs and angel investors.
A Contemporary Patron
Enter Artsicle. Artsicle is one-part modern day patronage service, one-part art dealership. It aims to serve both aesthetes and artists alike, enabling emerging New York City artists to make names for themselves, while providing philolocalists with a steady stream of beauty. For $50 a month, Artsicle allows New York City residents to rent original artwork and to discover burgeoning talent. Whether you’re a real estate agent, a bachelor desperate to impress, or a staunch individualist who breaks into cold sweats at the thought of purchasing a print at Ikea, Artsicle has an objet d’art that will suit your needs.
Founded by Alexis Tryon and Scott Carleton, Artsicle seems slated to become the go-to source of scenery for the startup Renaissance. Whether Artsicle launches the creative career of a right-brained revolutionary or helps you find a painting that finally turns your house into a home, it’s certainly a startup to step back and admire.