On a Tuesday afternoon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a vast loft in an industrial building is abuzz with activity. In one corner, canvasses are being stretched and spray painted, while at another, someone is folding and stacking cardboard boxes. In the center of the room, a team of artists in aprons are painting, dropping, smearing, and scraping thick latex paint onto canvasses in what looks like the art world version of an assembly line. This is Andy Blank, a new art company that's equal parts Banksy and Ikea.
Like Banksy, the elusive British street artist, Andy Blank is a pseudonym. Unlike Banksy (that we know of), the name doesn't refer to just one person: Andy Blank, its founder tells House Beautiful, is not just its founder—it's a collective name for the artists and other employees of this unique art business.
Andy Blank was started by an anonymous founder after years spent in the art world in various capacities: "I’ve hung art, sold art, made art, everything around art," he told me on a visit to the factory this summer. "I’ve enjoyed all of it, and this is kind of the cumulation of everything."
His goal was to fill what he saw as a hole in the market in a completely new way. "You get people with a $200 budget walking into gallery, and to put it rawly, it’s a waste of time," the founder says. "They can't buy anything. It’s like, 'here’s a pencil.'"
So, Andy Blank's mission is to create art that's accessible to everyone—all of its pieces sell for under $200—but still carries a sense of originality. All pieces are created in numbered editions and are retired seasonally to make way for new collections.
"When I started, I was looking at our competition," he explains as he walks me around the warehouse. "So much of it is printed canvas, drop-shipped from China. Nothing thought-provoking, no depth. So that was one of the first motivators to get going. And then found the pieces people like, the colors, the style, the texture."
Andy Blank creates works in photography, paint, and 3D materials like latex—all from its Brooklyn warehouse. "The HQ has to be a mix of a paint shop, fabricator, shipping facility," says the founder. All items are created, packaged, photographed on sets Andy designs, and shipped in custom boxes with branded Andy Blank installation accessories (all to make the art buying and hanging process as simple as possible).
It's that centralization that allows the company's employees—who range from trained artists to former cooks—to constantly experiment with new materials. "Everything we’ve got we can create here," the founder explains. "We have to have full creative control. We want to be an artist and a business."
On the day I visit, experiments in tie-dye are hanging up around the space. "I just got off the back of playing with so much tie dye," the founder explains. "I was fucking obsessed with tie dye. Last time I did it I was like 10, so we were like, 'fuck it, let’s do some tie dye.' And we just got everyone together. We released one, and it did really well. How often do you see framed tie dye?"
That high-art-meets-mass-style concept is a perfect metaphor for the company. "We wanted to keep it non-intimidating, easy to understand, and make it super simple," says the founder as he flops down in a sofa on the "office" side of the studio. "We want you to be able to just throw your artwork up on the wall."