Recently I’ve been invited to participate as an artist in a pop up show in Los Angeles (USA), with another 40+ artists from around the globe, in different stages of their careers. Firstly I was super grateful to be included, then I thought, this curious initiative needs more attention, so I approached Chris Rexroad to find out more.
Chris Rexroad and Charlie Roberts, artists, gallery owners and founders of GIFC, have known each other since childhood. They share their passion for art and offering a unique experience to gallery goers. GIFC all started when Chris and Charlie put their heads together and came up with an idea that changed the typical gallery outing paradigm. For their very first GIFC show in L.A. in Jan 2016 they asked 20-25 local artists to take part with A4 size works on paper, setting one affordable price.
All GIFC shows appear for a limited time only, usually a day or so, making it exclusive and outstanding. The whole exhibition is arranged as in a record store, where stacks of artworks are placed in front of you, so you can just flip through them and pick your favourite. The gallery goer has a truly different experience, as he/she is encouraged to engage with every piece by taking it in hand, looking at it closely, then deciding which one catches his/her attention the most. After this outing, visitors will most probably go home with, not just thought-provoking ideas in their heads, but actually an artwork in their hands. Everything is perfectly set for inspiring art lovers to buy original pieces of art from living artists, and at the same time, become collectors of their beloved creator.
No surprise that other galleries joined in the fun, not just in the States but internationally. After their first show in L.A., a Copenhagen based gallery began participating and from then on it all went ‘wild’. GIFC has appeared in New York, Austin, Nashville, Paris, Oslo, Berlin, Amsterdam, and the list goes on. It’s a wandering show which keeps all participating artists’ works travelling around until they are sold or claimed back by the artists.
Currently there are two different types of shows moving around nationally and internationally: 1. A4 sized works for 30 USD and 2. A3 sized works for 100 USD (this latest is called ‘Velvet Ropes’). Some would believe that setting these economical prices can have a backlash, especially when including already established artists like Nina Chanel Abney, Austin Lee and Brad Phillips, just to name a few; but luckily no misuse of the works has been reported. All participants have been satisfied with the results and happy to be included in such an offbeat gallery outing.
Chris and Charlie take time and special care in choosing participating artists, constantly digging on the internet for ‘fresh meat’ to offer an excellent selection in all of their shows. They also welcome any galleries from around the world interested in being part of something exceptional, by making art more accessible to their visitors. In the future, GIFC wishes to keep on growing and expanding its audience, Chris and Charlie also started looking into how to work directly with art fairs and bring GIFC to a bigger scale.
To find out more about their next show, check out GIFCWorldwide on Instagram.
Author: Marta Balla
About Marta Balla
Marta Balla graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Spain. She holds an MA specialized in painting and art theory. She has exhibited in solo and collective shows in Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Spain and the US. She is also involved in curating and social art projects, and has been invited to international conferences to talk about her art and process. She teaches traditional painting techniques nationally and internationally. She is also an art therapist, using different artistic expressions and storytelling in the therapeutic process. Marta has been practicing aikido, a non-violent Japanese martial art for 15 years. She has been engaged in contact improvisation dance for 3 years which lead her to more exploration in performance art.