Technology has always had a hand in art, from the paintbrush to the camera. In recent years, however, the affinity between art and technology has become much more intimate, with artists becoming more inventive with their expression and pushing the boundaries of art and its experience. Two people setting sail on this technological wave are founders Larry Jones and Adam Gross of ADLAR Studio, leading the charge in the world of AR print.
ADLAR Studio collaborates and assists renowned artists in merging fine art with augmented reality to produce an immersive experience. Once a piece is scanned via a mobile app, the adventure begins opening up collectors to this new world of art as an experience. The Studio’s current editions are with celebrated artists Analia Sanban, Kenny Scharf and Shane Guffogg.
Jones and Gross have a strong and extensive business, creative and arts background. That encapsulates art collecting, curation, exhibitions, and content creation, including building and marketing multi-billion dollar international brands, giving the pair a well-rounded knowledge and perspective on arts and technology.
In this interview, Jones and Gross talk about how they got started in arts, why they chose to integrate Augmented Reality with art, and what the future holds for ADLAR Studio.
Q: Hi, Adam and Larry. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you please introduce yourselves for those who do not know you?
LJ: I am Larry Jones. I have years of experience working for Viacom/CBS creating digital and linear content while also building and marketing multi-billion dollar international brands. For the past six years, I have been working with Academy Award-winning VFX masters creating 6DOF (Six Degrees of Freedom) content in virtual reality. I have been collecting art for the past three decades, and ADLAR is a perfect combination of all of my passions … artists, art, technology, and content.
AG: I am Adam Gross. My background is in the fine arts, with over 25 years of working with artists to produce content, exhibitions, projects, and many, many editions. Before ADLAR, I ran the Lapis Press, where I had the great honour of working with some very talented artists and arts professionals. Working with artists to amplify their voices and help them deepen their engagement with their audience has been at the centre of my efforts ADLAR brings all of those interests together.
Q: Can you tell us how you both started in the art industry, how art has played a role in your lives, and why you decided to work in the arts?
LJ: For years, I have been working with writers and actors in creating TV sitcoms so that exposure and participation in the creative process became addictive. In my personal life, as a collector, getting to know visual artists has been a lifelong joy. Today, at ADLAR, being able to help visual artists make their practice come to life digitally in augmented reality is genuinely fulfilling. Many of the artists we speak with had no exposure to the possibilities of what AR can do, so it was fun to open their eyes to these opportunities.
AG: I started as a collector in my mid-20s, but it wasn’t until my late-20s that I considered a career in the arts. Art now plays a central role in my life. I can’t imagine life without being surrounded and inspired by art, and it is a joy I want to share with others. Once I realized how crucial art was to me, I decided that if I could, I would work in the arts. And that’s exactly what I did. Now, with ADLAR, I have finally found a place where my interests in sharing art and collaborating with artists can flourish.
Q: ADLAR Studio is at the forefront of Augmented Reality, opening up a new world of possibilities for artists and art collectors, offering fine art editions from renowned artists. Can you tell us more about the editions, the technology and why you choose to integrate Augmented Reality with art?
LJ: How many times have you looked at a piece of art to say, “I can just see the movement in this.” With ADLAR AR prints, we can make that movement actually happen! The editions all start with a conversation, and we let that creative process guide our decisions. The printing technique employed (be it silkscreen, lithography, digital, etc.) is chosen by the project itself. We find that when we allow the project to lead us, many of the decisions regarding dimensions, edition size, etc., all fall into place.
AG: This past year or so, we have heard a lot about NFTs, which is not at our core, but it is a possibility for us if the artist is interested as this is all related to technology. Because we combine this cutting-edge technology with traditional fine art print-making, we feel that our business fits perfectly in between. It is a space where we hope to engage with a lot of artists and art collectors.
Q: In the last few years, brands, companies and artists have seamlessly integrated the physical and digital worlds to deliver a more immersive and realistic experience for their customers, community and fans. What do you think is driving this approach?
LJ/AG: Because we can, I think it is driven by people looking for new ways to engage, to connect… be it with artists, our clients, or each other. With the further deployment of 5G, edge computing and web3, the technological capabilities will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the years to come. So much of this technology is used by corporations and big companies. We at ADLAR are excited to be riding that wave into the future by making this tech available to artists and a broader art audience.
Q: With the increasing integration of technology in arts, do you think the future of art will be more about digital media and less about traditional mediums?
LJ/AG: The wave we are currently on will simply give more people more options on how they wish to consume art. This is not about making one medium obsolete. This is about engaging new users and getting them excited about art and the artists expressing themselves.
Q: In the past year, have you come across any artists whose work you would like to release in an augmented reality edition?
LJ/AG: There have been so many artists we’ve wanted to work with, too many to name! We are engaged with a diverse slate of artists from every medium, so this is a very exciting time. Stay tuned!
Q: What’s next for ADLAR Studio?
LJ/AG: More art. More activations. More artists collaborations.