Making Art Affordable Again : The Love Watts Project
BY : MARIA MORA | IMAGES COURTESY OF THE LOVE WATTS PROJECT
One thing that keeps many people, myself included, mesmerized about art is that it is ever-changing. Whether it comes in audio or visual form, art keeps the world alive but unfortunately, not everyone has access to it. All that is changing thanks to digital architect Jordan Watson, the mastermind behind virtual art gallery @love.watts. For his next venture, Watts is striving to make art accessible for everyone, while serving as an educational vessel to collecting fine art.
With whatever platform I now have, I want to make sure that I am providing that opportunity and exposure to as many kids out there as possible.
With the help of his longtime friends Philippe Hadey and Ryan Home, Watts started The Love Watts Project, an initiative that will sell limited edition prints from emerging and established artists from all over the world. This program is set to promote up-and-coming artists and allow the work of established artists to be more attainable. Each piece of art will only be available for a 24 hour period, printing only the amount ordered, and will never be re-released. All pieces are set to sell at an affordable price point of $45 and a portion of the sales will be going to The Love Watts Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting art programs for inner-city youth across America.
“Simply put, art is now, and always has been a luxury,” says Watts. “Growing up in New York; young, poor, and black; I did not have the opportunity or exposure as a child to appreciate art, let alone be a part of its community. With whatever platform I now have, I want to make sure that I am providing that opportunity and exposure to as many kids out there as possible. I want to be that introduction; I want to provide that opportunity. That is also why we decided to launch with a charity foundation so that we can continue to do as much outreach as possible.”
What started out as a hobby — sharing art that he found interesting — became his calling. Over the years, Watts has managed to gain nearly 2 million followers on Instagram thanks to his sharp curatorial eye. Celebrities like Erykah Badu, Rihanna, Diplo, and M.I.A are amongst the bunch who are a fan of his genius. “Probably the most surprising occurrence is the positive reaction we have received from celebrities and influencers,” says Watts. “When we first began this project, it was with the intention of creating access to great art for those who may not have it. To see those with access react so positively shows us the wider demographic appeal.”
Love Watts showcases a diverse range of artists from different walks of life and professions. From Sarah Brown’s “Chicken Soup” illustration that features a hilarious take on today’s streetwear culture to stunning photography from MAEKAN co-founder Alex Maeland, a wide variety of art has been sold on the platform. “There is no particular aesthetic that we look for,” says Watts. “We work with artists that have a particular voice that we believe in. We love difference in voices, opinions, and application, and our selection will always reflect that.”
Jordan has built a digital content hub, one would say, that features a number of accounts like @watts.place, @watts, @lovewatts.project, @watts.fm, @watts.on, @watts.coins, and @rollthis.pass. Each account serves a different purpose — art, fashion, architecture, music, etc. Through these channels, Watts plans to build out more projects and activations that honor each of those specific audiences. The solo entrepreneur does it all by himself — finding images he likes on Tumblr, the internet, blogs, or on Instagram. There’s no mood board; Watts just posts and goes.
The Love Watts project is here to make established artists more accessible and to give emerging artists more recognition. Building on this ethos, Love Watts would like to continuously provide artistic opportunities to those with the least exposure.