General Public – Portia De Rossi’s take on art publishing

by Manojna Yeluri

General Public was launched yesterday, May 10 2018 and presents a rather interesting proposition with respect to the business of buying and consuming art. Through the use of textured prints, known as ‘Synographs’ – a 3-D printing technology that Portia De Rossi seems to have helped develop (and trademarked), General Public is out to make expensive and exquisite works of art, more accessible to the general public.

What’s the intention behind the venture?

According to an interview, Portia De Rossi claims that the inception of General Public lies in the idea of democraticizing access to fine art – a market gap that she’s noticed for a while and wishes to fill. With different categories and pricing options, General Public has the potential to evolve into an interesting marketplace for fine art. What’s also notable, is Portia De Rossi’s clear message with respect to supporting artists, rather than art itself – something she believes a platform like General Public can accomplish, since it seeks to eliminate the middle-man.

What kind of impact can General Public have on the art world?

General Public fits into an increasing number of initiatives that are using technology based solutions to create direct connections between creators and consumers. The space has huge potential, but also remains undefined and thus, unregulated in parts. It’s definitely an interesting proposition, and like other technologies such as blockchain, indicates a bigger move towards creating a creative economy that might need some adjustments, to cope with the role-changes and expectations to come. With respect to money, it’s interesting to note that the General Public model is offering a 5% royalty wholesale to artists, for each painting sold to retailers, and 5% royalty to artists who choose to sell through the General Public e-commerce site.

General Public already boasts of having some interesting painters and art work in their studio. Artists interested in learning more, can go to the General Public website.

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