10 APPS FOR ART LOVERS
Over the last years, the art world has slowly but surely been embracing the digital revolution and especially e-commerce. Online sales are rising, large auction houses such as Christie’s are hosting more and more auctions on the web, and artists, galleries and museums are ramping up their digital presences. Accordingly, more and more smartphone apps tailored to art lovers have become available. We selected ten you might want to download, ranging from serious art collection organizer apps to the so-called Tinder for artists. Happy swiping!
The New York City-based startup is a veritable pioneer when it comes to showing and selling art online. Ignited by the question “Why isn't there someplace on the internet where you can see all the world's art?”, it has developed into a widely used platform which today lets art enthusiasts explore and buy over 500,000 artworks from hundreds of top galleries and auction houses. By opting for a financial model where galleries pay a yearly subscription, it leaves the sales process completely in the hands of the galleries and museums, which might by wary of intermediaries. Along the way, Artsy has built one of the most comprehensive online art databases, which is connected through its unique Art Genome Project, an attempt to classify artworks to be able to give you suggestions according to your tastes (just like Spotify does, for example). Features such as letting users to zoom into a high-resolution images revealing more information regarding textures and processes as well as the “Room View” simulating what a certain artwork would look like on your living room wall enhance practicality.
The overarching mission of the startup founded in 2016 is to make art buying more accessible. Galleries pay a yearly subscription fee to present artworks by artists they represent online, tapping into a new digital generation of art buyers. Sounds a lot like Artsy? Indeed. The difference: Artland focuses on collectors, offering them tools to register and manage their collections. And it doesn’t just connect collectors with galleries, but also collectors with each other. “Art collections are hard to find. How do you know where they are and who owns them? Very few people usually get to see them”, the app’s CEO Mattis Curth told Forbes. With Artland, this might slowly be changing.
While Artsy and Artland both focus on artists who already have gallery representation, Saatchi Art gives any artist the opportunity to upload and sell their pieces. Here, users can discover over a million paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs by over 60,000 artists from around the world. As this vast offering might sound difficult to navigate, art lovers can make use of Saatchi’s team of advisors who help you find art tailored to your taste and budget. While offering a convenient and welcoming platform to artists, the venture also makes sure to protect buyers: artists are obliged to fulfill strict shipping requirements.
Tired of swiping through half-naked mirror-selfies? Why not switch to Wydr then, the so-called “Tinder for artists and buyers”. The app applies the same swipe right, swipe left method to browsing through and potentially purchasing artworks. Anyone can upload and sell a work, with Wydr taking a commission of 30% on each sale. Additionally, users can give ratings from 1 to 5 to featured artworks. When clicking on an artwork, community rating, price and location are displayed instead of job and interests. “Art Galleries are for the 1%, Wydr for the 99%. The app isn’t for the art collector, but for the casual art lover”, Swiss co-founder Matthias Dörner told TechCrunch.
With Paris recently welcoming its first digital museum of fine art, which projects digital versions of artists’ works such as Gustav Klimt, (S)edition, an online platform for leading contemporary artists to distribute their work as digital limited editions, seems rather timely. The app lets you develop an art collection that is entirely digital, meaning that purchased works remain online at all times, saved on a cloud, not allowed to be printed. Collectors receive a digital Certificate of Authenticity that is signed by both (S)edition and the artist. Interestingly, the project is not just a means to monetize video and digital art, but features editions (from unique up to 1000) that are digital version of physical artworks. Many high-profile artists are participating, and British art star Tracey Emin even produced a work (“Because Of You I’m Here”) exclusively for the platform. A completely new way of collecting art that encourages people who might not be able to afford these artists’ physical artworks to become collectors.
Collectrium was specifically designed for collectors of high-value art and collectibles, promising bank-level security. The idea of its founders: a tool that could help collectors manage their collection while simultaneously providing information that would be helpful for future acquisitions. Accordingly, Collectrium is a secure web-based system allowing collectors and also galleries to access their artworks from anywhere, across all devices. The project also offers additional services such as insurance, storage, transportation and restoration through partnerships with leading providers in these fields. The app is available in seven languages.
Invaluable enables bidders to participate in auctions from anywhere in the world, letting users access sales from over 5000 auction houses in more than 180 countries. With offices in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Australia as well as three million monthly unique visitors and yearly sales worth billions, the company is a giant in the field. That one of the world’s biggest auction houses, Sotheby’s, has teamed up with the platform and hosts more than 100 auctions a year on Invaluable, speaks for itself. “We really look forward to changing the face of the auction industry with the best and brightest in the arena. We are in the unique position of introducing a younger, tech-savvy consumer to what has been an exclusive club within the auction industry.” the groundbreaking app’s CEO told Artnews.
Founded in 2010, ArtBinder was built by a former gallerist and team of experts as an iPad and iPhone application created specifically for the art world with the goal of helping run art businesses of all sizes anywhere around the globe. While it’s first and foremost an on-the-go, cloud-based inventory management tool, it is also useful for invoicing, consignment and loan forms, and even offers an integrated currency converter that is updated hourly. Not surprising then that it is used in over 65 countries by thousands of art professionals including major galleries such as David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth.
The idea is brilliant: creating a Shazam for art. How great would it be to just snap a photo of an artwork you like when gallery-hopping, and in just a few seconds have the information about its creator, title, dimensions, year of origin, exhibition history and price at your fingertips? This is exactly what Magnus, named after its founder, the German entrepreneur Magnus Resch, wants to provide. Unfortunately, the app isn’t completely up to speed yet, as it is facing quite some pushback from galleries, which think Magnus is giving away too much information. Recently, even Leonardo DiCaprio invested in Magnus – a sign that the app is back on track?
GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE
You don’t need to be a gallerist or art collector to enjoy this one. Google’s Arts & Culture app, which recently went viral with its Art Selfie gadget, which lets you find your art history lookalike, is an incredible information resource. Watch out, or you might get sucked down the rabbit hole. The platform not only makes it possible to stroll through a museum halfway across the world, but also hosts browse thousands of stories, photos, videos, and manuscripts. The immense database is a result of collaborations with over 1200 museums, galleries and institutions in 70 countries, including London’s Tate, New York’s Met, and Florence’s Uffizi. A great initiative improving access to arts and culture to anyone, anywhere.