The Fine Arts Building on South Michigan is the new home of Gallerique, a hybrid online and brick-and-mortar marketplace for fine art and designed objects. This new store will be right at home in this downtown architectural masterpiece, which is a work of art in and of itself.
The idea for Gallerique materialized when Sam Khan, founder and CEO, realized a need for an online gallery platform that maintains the high standards and expert curation of fine art galleries while harnessing the ease of online exchanges. Gallerique will offer a market that moves fluidly between an online and physical presence while facilitating multi-directional exchanges between collectors and makers. “Sam wanted to be instrumental in changing the collecting experience from an exclusive to a more inclusive model to accommodate the needs of both new and experienced collectors who are eager to engage with and acquire works in new ways,” explains Maria Girgenti, director of partner relations at Gallerique.
“We’re leveraging an ‘online/offline’ or ‘clicks/bricks’ model that combines our online platform with physical locations and access to services and unique tools that allow our galleries to showcase their inventory in new and innovative ways, raise visibility, connect with buyers and increase sales,” says Girgenti, who is also a contributing writer to Newcity Art. Their space in the Fine Arts Building will serve as a showroom for a rotating array of pieces from their partner galleries. In the near future, they intend to open additional physical locations in other cities to reach out to a wide range of collectors.
In addition to its novel online/offline model, Gallerique differs from independent art consultants and sellers because of its diverse inventory gathered from many partners. It features contemporary art, antiquities and ancient artifacts, furniture, jewelry and more. Their online services offer buyers the ability to control their entire collections from the home or office. Gallerique will also offer free consultations.
Gallerique has partnered up with domestic and international galleries including London-based jewelers Bentley & Skinner, known for collaborating with Damien Hirst in creating his famous diamond skull; Stoney Road Press in Ireland; and Officine Saffi in Italy. Locally, Gallerique has partnered with Aspect/Ratio, Bert Green Fine Art and R.S. Johnson Fine Art, among others.
Khan and Girgenti are placing their priority on establishing a reputable marketplace for fine art and designed objects with a mission to provide convenient accessibility to high-quality pieces. They also intend to use their space for exhibitions, networking events and other gatherings. (Mahjabeen Syed)
Gallerique is located on the eighth floor of the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan.
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently a Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition and Art Editor of Newcity. Formerly, he was Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.