Masterworks Opens Level & Co. Gallery in New York’s Upper East Side

The New York art scene is witnessing a significant transformation with the launch of Level & Co., a new art gallery subsidiary of Masterworks located in the heart of the Upper East Side. While much of the physical art world has emphasised going digital in recent years, this new initiative is a prime example of the reverse trend in action.

Spearheaded by Evan Beard, the Executive Vice President of Masterworks, Level & Co. aims to bring a fresh, transparent approach to art investment and collective ownership. The venture marks a significant departure from the elitist and often inaccessible aura that has surrounded the high art industry since its inception. 

Before delving into the specifics of Level & Co., it is essential to understand the work that Masterworks has been putting in over the last few years and how the Masterworks platform has already been making waves in the art world despite having been launched just four years ago. Masterworks is the world’s first fractionalized art investment platform. In other words, anyone can use it to buy percentage shares of famous artwork such as works from the likes of Banksy, Basquiat, Monet and Andy Warhol. 

The process works like this. The Masterworks team selects artists that have the most market momentum and highlights specific paintings that have the highest potential to increase in value. Masterworks then acquires these pieces at the lowest possible prices, after which each painting is securitized with the SEC, thus allowing anybody to become an investor. Next, Masterworks offers shares to members of its digital platform and after holding the investment for a few years, pro-rata profits are distributed to share-owners once a sale has been made. 

This innovative approach has democratised access to the high art market, allowing individuals to invest in artworks that were previously only accessible to the ultra-wealthy.

While the platform has an impressive track record of investments, many art enthusiasts were left wondering where the art is (physically), and if it was possible to actually see the art in person. Enter Level & Co., Evan Beard’s latest venture. The new gallery, which officially launched in early May, essentially functions like an art market merchant bank, showcasing works from Masterworks and other institutional collections. Fractional investors will now know where their artworks reside, ushering in more transparency in an era of collective art ownership. 

In addition, Level & Co. will provide market analytics to clients, offering a comprehensive service that goes beyond the traditional gallery model. The primary focus will be on post-war and contemporary works of art worth more than $1 million, with a stunning selection of blue-chip 20th-century artists and current market makers.

Level & Co. also intends to establish commercial relationships with art market intermediaries such as galleries, art advisors and auction houses. It will also work together with the estates and foundations of the artists it represents. This inclusive strategy aims to establish a thriving ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders in the art market, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Evan Beard brings a wealth of experience to Level & Co. – before joining Masterworks as Executive Vice President, he played a significant role in transforming Bank of America’s Art Services Group into the world’s largest art-secured lender with a $10 billion art loan book. Joining him is Katherine Reid, who has previously worked at Art Agency Partners and later at Sotheby’s. 

Together, they have sold $45 million worth of art since 2022. That is certainly no minor feat given the current market conditions. Their combined expertise and passion for art make them a formidable team, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Level & Co.

Level & Co. represents a significant shift in the role of art galleries, as the art market has traditionally been perceived as opaque and exclusive. By breaking down these barriers, Level & Co., building on the legacy of Masterworks, is democratising access to art investment, opening up opportunities for a broader range of investors to enter this lucrative alternative asset class.

With that said, it’s important to note that Level & Co. is not just about selling art – it’s about providing valuable market analytics to clients. This means that investors will not only have the opportunity to acquire high-value art pieces but also gain insights into the art market’s trends and dynamics. This service, a continuation of Masterworks’ commitment to transparency, is designed to empower investors and hence enable them to make informed decisions based on data and analysis – unprecedented in the art investment industry.

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