The battle for Silicon Valley, the art market’s long-running skirmish to get tech’s monied elite to take to art buying, has been spear-headed by Pace Gallery’s Marc Glimcher for some time now.
His accomplice has been venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, founder of Andreessen Horowitz (or a16z in SV speak,) and his wife Laura Arrillaga:
“In the beginning, Laura Arrillaga wouldn’t travel, so I would bring art to her house, and then her friends started wanting me to bring them art too. And she said, you know, it’s a little tacky to be doing this in my house, why don’t you use my dad’s old run down Tesla shop?”
A Tesla building could only be considered “old” in Silicon Valley.
Glimcher also faces another problem with Silicon Valley articulated by recent London transplant, Benedict Evans, who is A16z’s sage:
“Living in San Francisco is like living in London with no Zone One,” he said, referring to the UK capital’s sprawling central business district. “Any given week here is fine but then you realize you haven’t seen a good picture in months.”
“This gallery is kind of a perfect microcosm of the ecosystem. We’re by a freeway opposite a gas station,” he said. “It’s not exactly Soho.”
There may be another problem, according to Evans:
“Engineers like art that looks engineered.”