Sure, we’ve got the word ‘auctions’ in our name, and the structure is premised on the foundations of the auction industry, but that’s where it ends. So how do we differ? Let’s see.
The name of the game.
Our ethos is built into our name. We consciously chose to avoid mentioning anything about what we’re selling since what we’re emphasizing is the context within which we let our sellers—be it artists or galleries—sell their artwork. Also, worth mentioning we did not include our Founder’s name in our name. For one thing, ‘Rabi’s’ sounds like a dry bar for yeshiva students, and ‘Shlomi’s’ sounds like a falafel truck, and anyone who has met him knows he can barely pour a drink or boil water, so no need to mislead on either count. Ultimately, it’s not about an ego or the content of what’s sold, but a sense of community premised on transparency and focused on nurturing the next generation of talent.
Auction houses are all about anonymity. Chances are that you won’t know who’s selling, or why they even bought that work of art a year ago if their intention was to flip it. Not cute. That’s why Greenhouse Auctions works solely with galleries and artists: the art that comes for sale in our auctions is specifically supporting the original source, no speculators allowed here. We’re all about supporting the OG, without whom there would be nothing to auction in the first place. Just a thought.
We keep it fresh.
Déjà vu’s are weird. Did you dream that moment? Is it an old memory? Or is this really the first time that you’re finding yourself peeling potatoes barefoot in your kitchen with a letter opener? We’ll never know. But either way, life is confusing enough, no reason to present you with stuff you think you’ve already seen at auction. Every single thing that comes for auction at Greenhouse is making its debut on a public platform. It may have been exhibited for, sure, but it’s never sold. To anyone.
We keep it clean.
-So here is a thought. Why not ask the artist (or their dealer) to tell us what’s in the special sauce? Everything we include: from the cataloguing to the image and the video of the artist—comes from them. That way, collectors know that anything they read and see in our auctions has been fully vetted by the seller. Moreover, there will be no contested sales after the auction, no multiple sellers to the same work of art. The provenance is as clear and clean as they come.
We keep it green.
-Shipping? Listing fees? Insurance? Handling costs? No thank you, and don’t even get us started on the acronym of these ‘miscellaneous expenses.’ The artwork stays with the seller until the end of the auction. That keeps our carbon footprint light and allows us to charge a minimal commission from the seller, and if the artwork doesn’t sell, there are no hidden fees. None.
Sharing is Caring.
-We can no longer afford to ignore the inequity in our industry, and how great would it be if we used our own success to help others with every single work of art that we sell. This is not a new concept, there are plenty of companies who give back (socks, eyewear, shoes, electronic devices) based on increase in their sales. Why not lift a whole community of college students and encourage their active participation the field so that the next generation of curators, critics, directors, writers and specialists is that much more diverse? For that reason, our entire seller’s commission goes directly to a dedicated scholarship fund. No fun on doing well if we don’t use our visibility to share the spotlight with others.
-At a typical auction, the artwork has sold, and the seller has given up all knowledge of its whereabouts, and the question of which storage facility exactly it wound up in will keep a seller up at night. So here is an idea. How about we just introduce the seller to the buyer? The seller is potentially able to track the life cycle of the artwork, and the buyer can develop a relationship with a seller that they may have known very little about. We’re basically the neighborhood yenta connecting the two.
A Little Mystery is good.
-Remember how your mother has always told you to create a little mystery, not reveal all of your proverbial jewels, create some excitement and use a proper wrapping paper instead of saranwrap to wrap her gift for Mother’s Day? Same here. It’s important that the asking be public and visible so bidders know what’s likely in their price range. But after the auction ends, we don’t reveal our final asking price on our website, nor do we submit it to any of the public auction portals. That stays between the seller, the buyer, and Greenhouse. Sometimes, showing less is good. For you and for us.