PLATFORM: BEHIND THE SCENES
PLATFORM: BEHIND THE SCENES
We spoke with Taylor Langone—our very own Associate Director of Galleries and Merchandising—to discuss how Platform discovers the right gallery partners, what makes a monthly selection's artworks fit together and the of importance an artist's perspective.
How does the selection process usually kick off?
With lots of research! I spend a lot of time finding the galleries I think have the most exciting programs and best track records. Once our team approves a list of galleries, I reach out to the galleries and set up a time to speak on the phone. That's when we start discussing their artists. I ask them to submit a group of at least four artists for consideration.
While doing your initial research, what do you look for in a gallery?
We partner with more established galleries on one end but also younger galleries and artist-run initiatives on the opposite end of the spectrum. Either way, we evaluate the gallery rigorously.
They always have a certain level of sophistication that's impossible to put your finger on, but I would say I look for galleries that are active in the market, have exhibitions regularly, and participate in art fairs. On top of that, I’m looking for dealers with a great reputation for scouting and identifying emerging talent who also nurture and grow those artists' careers.
In terms of location, since galleries are concentrated in New York and LA, the majority of our galleries are located there. But I make a strong effort to look for galleries outside of those epicenters. There are galleries that have a really strong program and good artists but don't necessarily get the exposure they deserve because of their location. We're able to put those galleries in front of a larger audience. Places like Chicago, upstate New York and Philadelphia, for instance, are becoming more active.
And I think it’s important that the galleries we work with have artists who are in touch with contemporary culture and what the broader world cares about today. By prioritizing that, Platform ends up with artists who represent a diverse range of backgrounds and identities.
After you've narrowed down your selection of galleries, they choose artists to present to you. How do those artists get selected?
When it comes to reviewing the proposals we get from galleries, the Platform team meets to decide on two artists from the many submitted. Is the work strong? Does it translate in a digital space? Will it resonate with our audience?
We also look at the artist's overall career, which is a large part of it. Is there proven interest in their work? Are they at a jumping-off point in their career? Do they have forward momentum and upcoming shows? Or could they find more momentum if given the right audience?
And then I also consider the artist's story and the motivation behind their work. Do they have a unique perspective on something that would make them interesting to a wider audience? Sometimes an artist’s story really helps you see the work in a different way.
You mentioned loving installation-based works but believe they don't fit Platform. Why is that?
We always ask if Platform will be able to do the work justice. We're also thinking about the customer. Since Platform is about making the best art available to people both inside and outside the art world, we think about whether a work of art is something people can imagine living with. That's why installations, for example, aren't something we'd typically offer.
Are the four works by each artist supposed to be seen as a cohesive presentation?
They are. Most of the time, we’re getting a totally new body of work made exclusively for Platform. That gives me the leeway to have open discussions with galleries about what we as a team think will be most successful in our particular digital context. We put a lot of consideration into all the different factors, including anything from what size and price points will be most approachable to what subject matter will resonate best with our audience.
The four works don’t need to be visually cohesive, necessarily. But I want to make sure they represent the artist’s body of work as a whole and that the gallery and artist are excited about and proud of what they are offering.