To spread the word and build the platform, Vudrag would tour the US in his van, setting up shop at various industry events and photo fairs. “It was that early punk rock thing where we put out our own records and went out on tour,” he says.
It was during those journeys that he realized how poor a job galleries and the established art world was doing at reaching potential buyers. People selling art at fairs would neglect to put pricing and sizing, and those in the still-rarefied world of galleries were more likely to alienate potential art buyers than embrace them.
So he decided to start his own fair to democratize the process. He’s booked out the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport for a weekend in September for the next three years.
For four days beginning on September 27th, ticket buyers will be able to get access to some of the most sought-after prints and rarest finds in the global print market (included will be a rare French vintage Casablanca poster that sold at auction for more than $200,000). But they’ll also get the opportunity to buy less expensive works and do so in an environment that is as accessible as it is transparent.
“My goal is to get everybody to put art on the wall. You have art on the wall, you’re a little bit happier in life,” he says. “My goal is to have a photo in every room and office everywhere in the world. If I can help do that, that’s great.”
Business isn’t always booming. And the challenges of a startup are as taxing whether you’re 24 or 54. But Vudrag’s current chapter is the most purposeful and focused one he’s had thus far.
“I kind of feel like I’ve come full circle. I started out with the idea of working in the art world, but I got involved in business, finance, legal,“ he says. “This is it for me. There isn’t going to be another chameleon. I think I finally found what I should be doing.”