In the 1960s and ‘70s, downtown New York's SoHo was a bustling art capital. Now, the galleries that once occupied the neighborhood have become Anthropologies and Topshops, and the artists’ lofts have become luxury condos. Yet somehow, the tradition of artists gathering each weekend near West Broadway and Prince Street to sell their work has endured. Protected by legislation that considers the sale of art part of freedom of speech, art vendors are exempt from purchasing vendors’ licenses, provided they are the creators of the work and pay sales tax.
And, as one might imagine, the sale of art on the street has become its own industry, with rules and tactics that differ quite starkly from those within the confines of a gallery. We caught up with eight artist-vendors to learn the ups and downs of the business and how to make it on the SoHo streets.
8 Artists Talk Selling Art on the Street in SoHo