'Today is Art Day' at NY NOW thanks to company's artist action figures
David Beaulieu at NY NOW
Today is Art Day began in 2014 as an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook “social media outlet,” said founder/CEO David Beaulieu. “It was strictly to share stories and examples of artists and artwork, and make art history more fun and accessible.”
But Today is Art Day was more than an online community art forum at this week’s summer NY NOW home/lifestyle/gift market trade show at New York’s Javits Center, where Beaulieu showed his Art History Heroes collection of nine famous artist action figures.
“I thought, there are so many action figures of superheroes, why not real people?” said Beaulieu, who has a communications/marketing background. “So we did a Kickstarter for Van Gogh, and it got great coverage in outlets like Mental Floss.”
The first Today is Art Day figure, VIncent Van Gogh, has a detachable ear and a bandage add-on. Like those that followed, it’s five-inches tall, stands on a round transparent base, includes a mini-easel that displays one of several masterpiece cutouts, and comes in a display box featuring 10 noteworthy facts about the artist.
The other Art History Heroes are Salvador Dali (with melting clock and three sets of stainless steel mustaches), Frida Kahlo (detachable heart and flower-scented hairband), Johannes Vermeer (pair of synthetic pearls and paintbrush and pallet), Rene Magritte (references to his art in a pipe and scented apple), Claude Monet (with jacket, pants and frog that change color when dipped in warm water), Rembrandt (customizable eyebrows and mouths based on his self-portraits), Leonardo da Vinci (book and feather accessories and glow-in-the-dark hair) and Gustav Klimt (reusable stickers inspired by his Golden Phase).
Now a member of the Museum Store Association and with product in 40 museums worldwide (mostly in the U.S.), Beaulieu cited a demand to expand his line into more genres.
“We’re branching out into science this fall with Einstein and Tesla, and have ideas for composers and writers,” he said. “But we’re sticking with non-fiction characters.”
Also at NY NOW, Today is Art Day showed The Grand Museum of Art game, which Beaulieu said was crowd-funded in three hours and will be delivered before Christmas.
“The game is to collect artwork and curate an exhibition,” said Beaulieu.
Meanwhile, Today is Art Day has grown into an online community of over 75,000 art enthusiasts who enjoy a new art story each day.
“It all started as a hobby--sharing the love of art via social media,” said Beaulieu. “I made a company around the Van Gogh Kickstarter, and now my hobby is my company!”