In Detroit in 2007, we could only dream about the art scenes of NYC, London, LA, and beyond. Through blogs and message boards we were able to explore graffiti culture, art shows and how others expressed similar sentiments to their world as we did in our hometown. When we sat down and thought about how we could be part of the scenes we found so inspiring, we decided that we would open up an art boutique and show the work of our friends, expressing ourselves through the experience of building a vibrant art community in the place we lived.
After a few months of looking for a space and renovating, we opened our first gallery, 323East, in April of 2008. America was in a tailspin as a result of that year’s recession, but we were just happy to be able to open our little space. People would often joke about the size of the gallery, but at 9 ft x 40 ft, this shoebox, with its low rent, would provide us with five years of experience that would thrust us into the middle of the art world.
It was out of the back room at 323East that we conceived a simple idea: how could we replicate the energy of our monthly art shows online? In March of 2010, we started kicking some ideas around about publishing art prints and selling them on the internet. By November 1st we were up and running. Over the next decade, we published more than 3000 editions, and we’re still going.
We’ve always known that building community and helping others was a successful recipe for growth, and similarly, we’ve always felt that making art prints is more than just a simple publishing venture; it's about putting love and care into each piece of art. This is why we have found success even in the most difficult times. The friendship and camaraderie that we share with each other, and the artists we’ve been so fortunate to collaborate with over the years, is something you, the collector, can inherently feel when you open up our latest print.
Over the last decade, what began as a small publishing company in the back room of an even smaller gallery has become a part of a global art movement. We feel lucky to be here, and there are plenty more ideas, editions, collaborations, and friendships to forge in the next decade to come.
Dan Armand & Jesse Cory