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Smoking is bad. Art is good


Art*o*mat uses recycled cigarette vending machines to sell original pieces of art.

This is exactly the kind of thing Springwise likes: a cool, hip new business idea, funky enough to appeal to a sophisticated crowd, yet marketable enough to eventually also convince the global masses to part with their dollars, yens and euros. So what’s it all about? Art*o*mats! Art*o*mats are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. Currently, there are 49 active machines in museums and various locations throughout the US. The experience of using the stylish machines is quite a thrill, but you also walk away with an original work of art. Approximately 300 contributing artists from 10 different countries are currently involved in the Art*o*mat project. Work from participating artists has to be the exact size and shape of a pack of cigarettes, and is sold for five dollars or less to everyday consumers. Think painted blocks of wood, stained glass, poem decks or clay sculptures. On each art package within the Art*o*mat the artists have the option to include information about themselves: if buyers like the artwork, they can e-mail or call the actual artist to request more art. The economics? The artists get 50% of the revenues, USD 1.50 goes to the company/venue hosting the machine, and the rest goes to Art*o*mats.


A no-brainer if you’re a budding artist, if you work in a museum, or run a gallery, shop, restaurant, bar. Get exposure or turn your customers into ardent art-buyers. Art*o*mat is still very US-centric, but would obviously do as well in Sydney and Seoul as it does in New York and LA. A global roll-out would truly bring art to the masses: give it a shot by contacting Art*o*mat at


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