top of page

Our Mission

The formation of Imaginary Friends Art Cooperative is a response to the increasing commercialization of the relationship between the artist and his ability to survive off the fruits of his practice. In thinking about attempting to be artists, the founding members have observed that they will inevitably become ensnared by the companies and organizations that are meant to represent artists. Rather than artist and creation focused enterprises, these companies parade their artists around on social media for the expectation of an ROI and take control of the details of how their work is presented. We recognize that as many of our predecessors have noted, the only thing we have as artists is our freedom. In understanding that the contemporary situation of the artist is destined towards the loss of this freedom, we hope to return control of the organization they inhabit to the artists and in turn, guarantee autonomy over themselves and their craft.


Imaginary Friends was created with the vision that artists, being the most imaginative among us in their disposition, could come together as a unit to create something larger than themselves and entirely novel. We asked the question, could we direct our behavior not by what would bring the largest profit, but what would allow ourselves and as many people as possible to create openly and freely? Can we reject the foregone conclusion of our day that the only thing that motivates people is the amassing of wealth? Could we resist the idea that the only way to exist is that of a rugged individual alienated from his purpose and product? We believe, contrary to much of the present ideology of our time, that alternative ways of being in the world are possible. It is not only the opportunity but the responsibility of artists to provide empirical evidence of the possibility of such an existence. We hope to revolutionize the way in which individuals can collaborate to bring about a shared mission, ours' being the pursuit of free and unique artistry.


To achieve this revolutionary form of organization, we hope to bring the unique cooperative organizational structure to Imaginary Friends. Rather than being subject to the whim of owners who control their product, we want artists themselves to be the owners of the organization that supports their careers. It will take the collective spirits of our artist and co-owners to decide the direction and allocation of the value product created by the company of members. In this way, we will be challenging the traditional notion of economic production and allocation between owner and worker.


After two recessions and a deadly pandemic that have left workers worse off than ever, and capital correspondingly stronger, we additionally hope to further the progress of other organizations that are fighting to better the plight of workers in our precarious moment. Imaginary Friends is our contribution to the resistance against the injustice of the capitalist system and the horrors it continually brings upon the average person.


We feel that the world is in an extremely desperate place. We will show others that feel the same that a more just, more beautiful world is possible and inevitable.

Our Logo

Our logo was designed by Allan Khorsheed, a graphic designer based on out of Brooklyn, NY. The original sketches were done by our own, Charlie Biondi, at a studio session for M-19 where he put down the first lyrics for his EP "SYSIPHUS". With the logo, we hoped to point to some of our core values.

 The first being the yin and yang, trying to show the balance that a collective spirit necessitates. Every member will be sacrificing for the greater good, but must not dilute their individual spirit in the process. The entertainment industry has lost this balance, clearly favoring management over talent. The second being the shape of a perfect circle, with the ghosts (theoretical imaginary friends) coming out of the circle to express themselves. That is the physical representation/metaphor for what the cooperative is trying to achieve: revolutionary creation. The smile and frown of the ghosts shows the duality of our work: our fun-loving spirit and brutal honesty about ourselves.

  • What's so important about being a cooperative?
    Even in the best jobs of our economy, people are at the whim of the corporations that employ them. With the cooperative structure, not only are we restoring power and control to artists in an industry that is known to control and exploit them, but also setting an example for other industries that cooperative ownership and workplace democracy is possible. See Elizabeth Anderson's Private Government
  • What do you guys actually sell?
    First and foremost, we sell our art but we also sell merchandise like clothes and stickers. We hope these are affordable ways to support our work, which goes back straight into supporting future artistic ventures amongst our owners. In the future, we hope to offer services like promotion to collaborate with artists without the formalities of bringing them on as owners.
  • Where can I learn more about cooperatives/your political project?
    A lot of the ideas that were instrumental in influencing our choice around forming a cooperative come from the economist, Richard Wolff. M-19 and Biondi also read a lot from Gramsci's Prison Notebooks to think about how employing culture could have an effect on the leftist political project. Political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson's book, Private government, is a great introduction to understand how our lives have increasingly come under the control of the corporations that employ us in the neoliberal era. To frame the last 40 years of history, David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism And Marx is never a bad place to start... A great podcast by Jacobin's The Dig:
  • What's your end goal here?
    Rather than trying to maximize profit indefinitely, we hope to provide all our artists with the ability to sustain themselves solely through the revenue made by the cooperative. As we achieve this goal, we want to orient any surplus revenue into recruiting and supporting smaller artists' work, eventually bringing them on as owners. Finally, we hope to use our revenue to support political movements and organizers that align with our values.
bottom of page