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The world’s first retail art gallery to sell NEW ART for cell phones

SAN FRANCISCO--Dec. 12, 2005--START SOMA, the San Francisco gallery for emerging artists, today announced the launch of START MOBILE, becoming the first retail art gallery in the world to sell NEW ART for cell phones. Curated by START SOMA founder John Doffing, THOUSANDS of original works of NEW ART from HUNDREDS of the world’s most prominent emerging + underground artists can now be downloaded onto mobile phones across the United States

“Cell phone wallpaper has long been limited to banal graphics, contrived iconography, and blurry clip-art of models in bikinis,” according to Doffing. “With the launch of START MOBILE, we are bringing some absolutely amazing original artwork to a brand new medium.”


START MOBILE showcases the world’s premier emerging + underground artists, quite literally from A to Z. “START MOBILE features artists whose work is in museums + artists whose work appears exclusively on the streets - and pretty much everything in between,” according to Doffing. “We have created an unprecedented mix of creative talent from around the world, and their art is now available to anyone with a cell phone for less than the price of a cup of coffee.”

START MOBILE is powered by ipsh!, the leading mobile marketing + media firm in North America. “Nearly three years ago, we enabled START SOMA to be the first art gallery in the world to use SMS messaging to promote an art opening”, according to Nihal Mehta, CEO of ipsh! “Today, we are pleased to announce START MOBILE, the world’s first retail art gallery for mobile devices, and are launching what amounts to HUNDREDS of solo shows from some pretty amazing artists, spanning all styles and mediums. The implications of this technology are truly staggering.”

EVERY piece of artwork showcased on START MOBILE is optimized for display on an unprecedented 200+ handsets from premier national carriers. Users will have the ability to purchase NEW ART for their phones through both credit cards AND premium SMS, billed directly to their phone bill.


“My work has been shown in museums around the world,“ observed photographer Ashkan Sahihi. “But I am more excited by the populist implications of START MOBILE – this truly has the potential to make NEW ART accessible to EVERYONE.”

American Pop Artist Tim Gaskin echoes these sentiments: “START MOBILE bypasses the elite gallery system, and uses technology to bring art directly to the people; much as Maxfield Parrish did a century ago using what was then the cutting-edge technology of mass reproduction. Plus, wouldn’t you rather have NEW ART on your phone than another singing frog?”

START MOBILE has even become the preferred exhibition platform for artists elsewhere in the universe, thanks to a special collaboration with conceptual artist / curator Jonathon Keats, who has converted intergalactic radio signals into digital images. “Extraterrestrials are the ultimate outsider artists,” notes Keats, “but cellphones are already in the hands of one third the world population. START MOBILE uniquely allows me to give these never-before-seen abstractions the planetary distribution they deserve - instantaneously.”


Artists featured in the launch of START MOBILE span the globe (and beyond!), and include Dee Adams, Aiko, Alaagy, Lisa Alisa, Scatha G. Allison, Birgit Amadori, Apex, Atome, Oksana Badrak, Bask, Bennett Robot Works, Bigfoot, Tim Biskup, Blame, Bo130, Boogie, Branded, Braveland, Buff Monster, BunnyKitty, Calma, Cheba, David Choe, Tricia Choi, Sas and Colin Christian, Cikita, Christopher Coggan, Container, Corporate Pig, Cottin, CrAiGer, Creeper, CRFTP, Culprit Research Project, Cum*, Matthew Curry, D*Face, Daddy Cool, Steven Daily, Daim, Dangerous Breed, Michael De Feo, Dephect, DHM, Nicholas diGenova, Melissa Dodd, Stephan Doitschinof, Dope Pope, Durkl, Kirsten Easthope, Edit Ion, Ingi Erlingsson, Brian Ermanski, Es Gibt, ESM, Danny Estrada, Eugene And Louise, Eyeon, Shepard Fairey, Fat Cop, Josh Feldman, Rod Filbrandt, David Flores, Friends With You, Full Bleed, Gameskins, Tim Gaskin, Fawn Gehweiler, Mark Gettys, Go Hero, Graphonic, Tim Hall, Hambot, Thomas Han, Lisa Henderling, Ryan Heshka, Boris Hoppek, Aidan Hughes, I-Manifest, Insa, The Intergalactic Art Exposition (curated by Jonathon Keats), Jordin Isip, Giulio Iurissevich, Neil Jeffery, Ward Jenkins, Jeremyville, Sylvia Ji, JU$T ANOTHER RICH KID, Yumiko Kayukawa, James Kingman, Kinpro, Klutch, Kozyndan, Jefrey Lacson, Lazy Afternoon, Kasper Ledet, Danyol Leon, Steve Lipman, LMAC, Nicole Locher, Amanda Lopez, Amanda Lynn, Mike Maas, Steve Mack, Alayna Magnan, Andrew Mallalieu, Mars, Manu Custom, Masa, Richard May, Boots McGhee, Liz McGrath, Meomi, Mishfit, Mishka, Model Slut In Paradise, Momorobo, Lynne Naylor, Adam Neate, NeckCNS, Neon, No Pattern, Nome, Norm, Ogi, OK47, Martin Ontiveros, Option G, Kelly Ording, Eric Orr, Ernie Paniccioli, Pandarosa, Parskid, Chris Pastras, Pesky Humans, Shaunna Peterson, Chris Pew, Mark Atomos Pilon, Plasticgod, Poplab, Punga Visual, Punkadelik, Pure Evil, Quality Of Life, Vinnie Ray, Brandon Reese, Regular Product, Retna, Chris Reccardi, Rinzen, Riv, Robots Will Kill, Rockn, Isis Rodriguez, Rxmance, Ashkan Sahihi, Michael Salter, Elisa Sassi, Seacreative, Seak, SEVER, SFaustina, Chris Silva, Winston Smith, SoCity, Damon Soule, Bwana Spoons, Stencil1, Hannah Stouffer, Terratag, Michael Terpeza, Tes One, Preston Thomas, Tokidoki, Howie Tsui, Kelly Tunstall, TV Boy, Ubiquity, Kirsten Ulve, Unkl, Urban Medium, Nikki Van Pelt, Viagrafik, Visual Narcotics, Vulcan, Waleska, Ben Watts, Warner Williams, Thomas Wolf, Baron Wolman, The World Chico, Yoffy, Yoskay Yamamoto, Yummy Industries, Linda Zacks, Marco Zamora, Zoltron, and Zonenkinder.



START SOMA is an upstart art gallery in San Francisco with a unique focus on original art by emerging artists. Founded by technology entrepreneur John Doffing in March 2003 as an antidote to the pretense + inaccessibility of the typical ‘wine and cheese’ art show, START SOMA provides an iconoclastic common ground for emerging artists to connect with new collectors. Since its inception, START SOMA has featured the work of hundreds of emerging artists from around the world, and showcased several thousand original works of art - from painting, sculpture, and photography to interactive installations, video art, and new media pieces. Most recently, START SOMA created the acclaimed PAINTED ROOMS series of art shows in San Francisco’s HOTEL DES ARTS.

START MOBILE is the logical extension of the START SOMA vision that ART SHOULD BE FOR EVERYONE.

ipsh! is the North American leader in innovating, developing and deploying effective, turnkey mobile marketing solutions, with over 400 successful campaigns since the company’s inception in June of 2001. Spanning technologies that encompass 1-way and 2-way SMS, alerts, promotions, ringtones, logos, pictures, wallpapers, screensavers, games, real-time voting/polling, chat, interactive TV, IVR (interactive voice response), premium SMS, MMS, and mobile video, ipsh! has dominated the media, entertainment and brand verticals with its proprietary PRISM platform. ipsh! is a wholly owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc. For more information visit

Omnicom Group Inc (NYSE: OMC - News; is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.


John Doffing | START SOMA


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