New art website charges no commission


Maureen McCarthy

Artplode, a new international art sales website, is taking on traditional auction houses by facilitating the sale of art with no commission charged.

Artplode launches  with nearly £2million in artworks offered for sale by private collectors, dealers, galleries and artists in 30 countries.

The site includes works by modern-day masters Matisse and Mirò, celebrity artist John Lennon, and big names in pop art such as Andy Warhol. Buyers also source work from as yet undiscovered artists.

“We are excited to launch Artplode, which is unique in that we welcome private collectors listing art for sale alongside works being offered by galleries, dealers and artists,” said Artplode founder and CEO, international art dealer Maureen McCarthy. “Artplode also re-introduces the time honoured tradition of art patrons dealing directly with the master artists.”

McCarthy, who for the past 20 years has been an agent for the publishing arm of the John Lennon estate, represents a number of respected dealers in works by the Masters including Monet, Picasso and Boccioni. She predicts Artplode will be a forerunner of the demise of auction houses that charge 40 percent or higher commission on sales.

“The art industry doesn’t adequately cater for collectors who want to resell art. Artplode fills a gap in the market where collectors can offer art for sale on a high quality website for a listing fee of only £60 per artwork,” she said.

McCarthy says she anticipates Artplode’s no-commission policy will result in private collectors offering many fine artworks never before offered for sale in galleries or auction houses.

While Artplode has works for sale from prominent galleries in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States and Australia, McCarthy believes many galleries are struggling to adapt to the challenges of online selling.

“It is one of the saddest and most troubling elements of the fast-changing art market that so many brick and mortar galleries have closed or will close,” she said. “There are serious implications in this trend for new artists and established artists who have developed their careers through regular gallery exhibitions.”