Art

Karen Wong and Derek Wiggins Design a Better Blueprint for the Art World

Guilty by association
Photography by Dominik Tarabanski. Courtesy of GBA. 

"We’re focusing on changing things,” Derek Wiggins begins, discussing the systemic inequities of the art world he has observed for some time in his own community of graffiti artists. “Some of my friends have been dismissed by a system that didn’t respect their artwork as art, because of what they looked like, their skin color, or where they came from.” Galvanized by the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and the Stop Asian Hate movement, he left his career building startup companies in 2021 before reaching out to Karen Wong, former deputy director of the New Museum, to start GBA (Guilty By Association). The digital marketplace, which launched this fall, is, as Wiggins describes, “a digital bridge to empower the creative unseen, redistribute wealth, and re-engineer an antiquated system,” and, in doing so, is changing the art industry as we know it.

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