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The Gilded Griffin

26/09/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Former MD of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Matthew Hileman, is setting up a new online fantasy art company, The Gilded Griffin. The Gilded Griffin will focus exclusively on imaginative artwork from both contemporary artists and those from past centuries.

Hileman began his career with Bellagio at the resort's opening in 1998 as a ticket-seller for the gallery and eventually advanced to become a managing director in 2002. During his eight year tenure with the gallery (1998-2006), Hileman worked with collections from around the world including The Moscow Kremlin Armoury Museums, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the private collections of actor Steve Martin, casino magnate Stephen A. Wynn, and the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire among others.

After many years working with museum-quality collections Hileman decided to turn his attention and marketing skills to his first love - fantasy art.

"I had been working on the concept for a fantasy-themed gallery for almost three years but didn't want it to be a single location catering to a small market," he says. "Right now there are millions people, many of them affluent adults, playing fantasy-themed online computer games or reading the last Harry Potter book. This is my market, as well as kindred spirits, and we are sadly under-represented in the retail art world," he told SFcrowsnest.com

"I have many friends in their twenties and thirties with families and successful careers who meet up online on the weekends to play World of Warcraft and similar games," Hileman adds. "They would love to own an affordable reproduction of art from this genre but don't know where to go to get it."

Attendees to ArtExpo Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center September 27-30th 2007 will have an opportunity to preview offerings from The Gilded Griffin.

Featured at the show will be the work of Philip Straub. Currently the Art Director at NCSoft's visual development studio, Straub has created designs and artwork for Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, DC Comics and others. He is represented by Seattle-based Artists of Kolea who recently signed an agreement with The Gilded Griffin to produce limited-edition prints of Straub's work. Straub will be making a special appearance at ArtExpo to launch his line of prints.

Check them out at http://www.thegildedgriffin.com

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