Cj Hendry Joins Forces with Phillips in Bold Digital Venture to Elevate Contemporary Art

Philips, one of the world’s most renowned global auction houses is recognized for its focus on modern and contemporary art, as well as its commitment to innovation and market change. At the forefeont of innovation, they recently introduced “Dropshop,” a digital platform that allows artists to directly engage with collectors and audiences by offering limited-edition releases of their artworks and objects. This platform is a new way for Phillips to connect artists and collectors in the ever-evolving art market.

Structured around regular “drops,” Dropshop creates a dedicated digital space for artists to connect with global audiences and collectors. Unlike any other platform, Dropshop’s purchases come with a special benefit: if the works bought through Dropshop are later resold in a Phillips auction or exhibition, the artists will earn a resale royalty commission, enabling them to share in the success of the secondary market, a market that has notoriously been hard to monitor once an artist’s works get placed in the auction house system.

Popspoken: What is the role of the gallerist and how does the Philips “Dropshop” aim to disrupt this role?

Philips Spokesperson: We would love to act as a partner to galleries to provide a platform for their artists to expand their engagement with their collector-base through objects and editions.  Our plan is for Dropshop to become a welcomed resource if we can highlight the artist’s voice and practice in these monthly takeovers of the platform. 

Popspoken: Share with us some trends in relation to what buyers and art collectors want now, as compared
to in the past?

Philips Spokesperson: Especially since the pandemic, collectors have become much more comfortable with buying artwork online and have expressed a particular interest in more options where works are available for immediate purchase. And we’re also seeing something similar when looking at things from the artists’ point of view. It’s becoming more and more important for artists to play a more active role in their secondary markets, so Dropshop really aims to support both of these goals.

Popspoken: How does Philips ensure that the provenance of the artwork is taken care of, with so many situations of misrepresentation when a work transfers hands?

Philips Spokesperson: One of the great things about Dropshop is that we are working directly with the artists, so there is no uncertainty surrounding authenticity. While being offered on Phillips’ platform, the artworks are coming straight from the artists’ studios and they are involved in every step of the process. 

I do not care about trying to stay relevant. It is a game I have no interest in playing. I make the shit I like and to hell with the rest”

Cj Hendry

Dropshop’s inaugural launch on August 20 will feature pieces by Australian hyperrealist artist, Cj Hendry, who is currently based in New York. Her “Crown” series includes one hundred bronze crowns, alongside a large-scale drawing of one of these crowns. The launch follows an in-person event on August 19 at 432 Park Avenue, where attendees can participate in a “treasure hunt” among inflatable plastic crowns. Hendry’s commitment to sustainability is evident in her innovative use of materials, demonstrating her dedication to environmentally conscious art.

Popspoken: Share with us more about the thought process in designing a “Crown” for Dropshop?

Hendry: At the moment I am very interested in making something ordinary, extraordinary. You can buy a plastic inflatable party crown off amazon for a couple of bucks. It is kitsch, tacky and so fabulous. This concept is based around how fragile a crown can be – it can pop at any time. You cannot stay king forever.

Popspoken: Describe your aesthetic, that appears “fun” and “utilitarian” at the same time, in particular with a Plastic Bag that has smiley faces on it in Have a Nice Day (2022).

Hendry: I am an adult with a kid’s brain. I always lean toward a tongue-in-cheek direction. Often I feel uncomfortable in serious situations and in a way the art world seems very serious to me, so I just fool around and hope no one is looking.

Popspoken: What is one thing in the art world that frustrates you and what have you done to change this?

Hendry: Nothing really frustrates me, I am not really “in it”. I do not try to change much, it is what it is. I am just over here doing my thing.

Exclusively available at www.phillips.com/dropshop, Dropshop features a unique “buy now” ecommerce model for a limited time. Discover interesting and creative individuals in our People section.

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