Check Out The Art-Filled, Fun Office Of Flash Sales Startup Artspace

lindsay greenspun, artspace, january 2011, bi, dng

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Artspace, a flash sales site for art, is bringing art a wider audience. The company, founded by Catherine Levene and Chris Vroom, launched in March 2011 with $1.2 million in funding and is growing fast.We recently stopped by the art-filled office in the Flatiron District to check in and see how they are revolutionizing the sale of art online.

The Artspace office is on Broadway near E 21st St. so it was only a short walk from the Business Insider office.

The young start-up works in a simple space.

But it is still covered in awesome art.

And the staff, about 12 in the office, are a fun and close knit group.

One thing we noticed right away were all the nerf guns around the office. More on that later.

And you can't miss this cute Yorkie named Moses. He doubles as their security guard.

They have a meeting room at one end of the office.

With this giant wooden table.

They are very careful with the art and it is always handled wearing white gloves.

The dog is a favourite in the office and there are doggy treats all over the place. We found this one under that big wooden table.

Chris Cavanagh, Artspace's Director, Membership Acquisition Marketing, was also our tour guide. She had just received her first order from the site!

Here is how the package comes.

And inside was this incredible x-ray photo by Steve Miller, a Long Island-based artist.

You can still see the mouse inside the snake.

The site is all about getting new people into art and they incorporate this into their packaging.

At the other end of the office you have the offices of the two co-founders, Chris Vroom and Catherine Levene.

Chris Vroom, Artspace co-founder, is also the company's Chairman and Executive Vice President, Artists and Institutions. His background is in finance as a securities analyst, but after some time in the financial field he started a non-profit called Artadia, which supports artists. His experience with Artadia and his connections to the art world helped him see that there was a challenge for museums to find new audiences and for new audiences to find art. This was the impetus for Artspace.

Here is Chris with his nerf gun.

Co-founder and CEO Catherine Levene works next door to Chris.

Before Artspace she was at Daily Candy and she also spent time at the New York Times Digital helping to develop their online properties. She brings a lot of online experience.

We saw Moses in his security outfit under Catherine's desk.

She has some great art in her office. This piece is by Dustin Yellin and is actually a print made of a painting that is done in layered glass.

She also has this fantastic little sculpture by Sanford Biggers, it is part of a limited edition of 20 from Art in General.

She really liked Yorkies and even has this miniature one.

Moses got a little playful with him...maybe he doesn't like the competition.

Next we head over to the kitchen.

Fresh fruit.

Coffee from the Cuisinart machine...but is it fresh also?

A little booze for those late nights.

And a fully stocked fridge for not-so-late snacks.

Even Moses has his own food station near the kitchen area.

The walls are covered in art that is available on the site. This piece by Luisa Lambri is of and from the Guggenheim.

By the computers they had this little Artspace card holder.

Everyone needs office supplies.

They also have a number of pieces by Nick Cave, from Chicago. He hand makes these incredible costumes and then takes photographs of himself wearing them.

Here is another one of his pieces.

Besides the great art, there are some terrific people working at Artspace.

Caroline Huber started as an assistant at Artspace in February 2011, early in the company's history. She has now become the site's Content Producer, she puts everything up that goes on the site. But she also does a lot more.

Since she maintains the site content, it is a good idea for her to have a manual of style.

She is the keeper of the keys (security in the building is tight and bathrooms are locked). This one in Hebrew is for women.

We tried to stay out of her sights but it was impossible.

She sits next to Jessie Gilliam, the site's designer. Jessie used to work in marketing for the Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels, but her studies were in Graphic Design and when she got an opportunity to pursue her passion for design at Artspace she made the shift.

She had some great pictures from a wild Halloween party that Chris Vroom had invited the office to.

It was Victorian themed.

And here is Chris Vroom in his costume.

We noticed this book on her desk. It was a Christmas gift and she has only just started reading it.

Her favourite sketch so far is the girl with all the tattoos.

Gilliam has a number of tattoos herself and she just got this one based on a piece of art for sale on the site.

Dan Finkler has been working with Artspace since August 2011. He is a Developer consultant working on developing the shopping system and its integration with the company's web app.

Finkler is also working on his own start-up that will work in the business intelligence sector, targeting e-commerce based CRM functionality and customer profiling.

We just had to find out who owned this gun.

And this is the machine behind all those labels.

Better known as Lindsay Greenspoon, but you can see from that bright smile where she got her nickname from.

Before we left, Catherine Levene showed us some new arrivals.

This unique silkscreen is by Romere Bearden, based on a painting of his done in 1969

It is part of a limited 200 piece edition.

And before we left we snapped this shot of our favourite piece in the office. It is by Curtis Mann, an artist who creates powerful images from pictures of conflict.

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