Photo: Flickr/Nathan Laurell
Do you like Vincent van Gogh? That means you’ll also probably like art by Henri Rousseau, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Utrillo and even contemporary artists like John Currin and Laurie Simmons—artists you may have never heard of.So how can you discover these new artists? With Art.sy, a free website that lets users browse through thousands of artworks to find new art and artists.
Art.sy works with hundreds of galleries around the world to catalogue art and expose it to potential buyers. The company has been around for a few years—mostly researching and building its extensive database of art—but it launched publicly just last month.
The way it works is simple: browse through artworks and click on art that piques your interest. The site will provide information on the piece of art and the artist, and then suggest similar works by other artists that might appeal to you—much like Pandora works with music. You can save searches and follow specific artists. Some of the art is for sale, though not all of it.
The company uses what it calls the “Art Genome Project” to sort and classify works by time period, style, medium, artist, and region. This enables users to search for art by more than 800 “genes,” as Art.sy staff calls them. It’s also useful to people who are looking to collect works from a specific time period or genre.
Art.sy’s goal is to “expose as many people as possible to art,” according to its website. Art.sy COO Sebastian Cwilich knows that the company faces a formidable task.
“It’s an ambitious enough vision that I expect it will take years to realise,” Cwilich said. “Eventually this will be a resource that can benefit anyone who loves art, but this is especially valuable for people who are more removed from major art cities and don’t have easy access to the galleries and museums we take for granted.”
It’s an ambitious goal, but bigshots in the tech and art worlds like Wendi Murdoch, Larry Gagosian, Eric Schmidt and Jack Dorsey—all of whom are partners, investors, or advisors in Art.sy—think the company can do it.
In short, whether you’re buying or just browsing, Art.sy is making art accessible to everyone.
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