Renee Rhyner: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Renee Rhyner: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

When Renee Rhyner began representing commercial artists 25 years ago, she discovered that their work could resonate beyond the product it was selling.

“There’s a level of fine art to it,” she says. “You don’t have to be one or the other. I’m drawn to artists who are both.”

She operates Renee Rhyner & Co. out of her Preston Hollow home. The business is an online gallery, and the artwork is exhibited and sold exclusively in her shop. It comprises mostly photography and graphic design from artists who aren’t household names, but whose works have been seen around the world.

Rhyner’s first client was Fredrik Broden, a photographer from Stockholm. He created the striking image of a candy-covered hand against a sky-blue background that became the book cover for the bestseller “A Million Little Pieces,” published in 2003. From there, her client base grew organically. In a way, so did the business itself.

Before launching her company, Rhyner represented models for a local agency. Naturally, she worked alongside commercial photographers.

“I thought, ‘They need representation, too,’ ” she says, “and I wanted to make my own schedule.”

Her client list now includes artists like Ann Cutting, known for her surreal, science-inspired photography used by companies such as Time magazine and Nike; Tom Brown, whose award-winning graphic designs appear in magazine spreads and on book covers; and photographer/filmmaker Dave Anderson, the former television production director for the Clinton administration.

This year, Rhyner landed a partnership with The Nasher Store at NorthPark Center to sell the work of her standout client, Brian Cronin, an illustrator from Dublin who worked under famed graphic designer Milton Glaser.

Rhyner finds herself wearing two hats: promoting her artists to big commercial companies and to fine art galleries, or both. It’s a relatively new idea — an artist who can straddle both disciplines.

“There is not a long history of commercial art being shown in galleries,” Rhyner says.

Commercial artists have an advantage: Producing good work is their job. They can’t wait for inspiration to strike.

“They never stop creating,” she says.

Rhyner spends a significant amount of time in Los Angeles and New York City, where she discovers many of her artists. But in recent years, Dallas has carved out its space in the art world.

“I’m spending a lot more time in Dallas,” she says. “There’s work in my own backyard.”

Learn more and browse artwork at reneerhyner.com. The Nasher Store at NorthPark Center, featuring Renee Rhyner & Co.’s graphic artist Brian Cronin, is open until Feb. 15.


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