How Instagram, start-ups are leading the art movement

Source: Metropolitan Museum | Instagram

Digital media have done more than bring the world together: they have succeeded in revolutionizing the world of art. Now, tech startups are combining data and social media with an artistic vision to help broaden appreciation for art, as well as find lucrative buyers and potential investors.

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For example, Will have uses “big data” to help art lovers keep track of all the works and exhibitions they’ve seen, and helps them share what they like on social media. It worked with the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio to create a global experience in technology and art, and was featured at the Association of Art Museum Directors meeting this year.

“It’s like a Waze for artists so they can remember what they saw and start sharing it with their friends,” said Aura Founder and CEO Christina Noren.

A Pew Research Center survey found that 81 percent of arts organizations that received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts said the Internet and other technologies are “very important” in promoting appreciation of the arts.

The realization that the digital world could help the arts community has been fueled by the popularity of Instagram, according to Dave Krugman, a social media consultant who now works as a social editor for advertising agency BBDO. He explained that the media have always been a catalyst for promotion in the artistic community. In the past that meant stepping into an influential magazine or newspaper, but he believes Instagram has democratized that process.

“(Social media users) can really post for their own audience, can be their own editors, and can be their own storytellers,” he said. “It has allowed a new generation of artists to develop.

Prior to his current job, Krugman had been approached by places like Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Danziger Gallery in New York City to promote their work on Instagram and other social media platforms. He said museums and galleries are interested in working with him and other social media influencers because of their massive reach online as well as their ability to build communities online. (Krugman currently has 173,000 subscribers on his Instagram.)

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Sree Sreenivasan, director of digital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said social media and art-related apps have enabled the New York Museum to extend the reach of its art to the world. The museum’s director and CEO, Tom Campbell, is particularly active on Instagram, promoting not only his works but also the art he sees around the world. Sreenivasan said it’s common to look at comments on posts, see people tagging their friends, and organize outings to the Met to see the art in person.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has also designated hashtags for all of its exhibits so that people can share their photos, and also uses digital platforms to showcase additional items.

“Art-related applications have been very important in the museum world as a way to extend the reach of our art to the world,” Sreenivasan said. “What we’re trying to do is expand access to our collection.”

Having a strong digital media presence can also boost sales and museum visits. A survey by the art app Artsy found that more than half of active art collectors on Instagram have purchased an artist’s work that they found through the platform.

And, instead of works of art being bought at art fairs, they are traded before events start. For example, during this year’s Art Basel, 506 purchase requests were sent out by Artsy as of June 15th. Art Basel didn’t start until June 18.

Artsy is an application that aims to make art accessible to anyone who can go online. It functions as an online database of over 300,000 works in galleries and museums as well as The Art Genome Project, a system that records similar qualities between artists and works of art.

“Additionally, we created Artsy to help galleries reach more collectors and, as more and more people learn about art, become passionate about it and want to live with and support art. artists, to help these people find the art they love and want to buy. ”Artsy communications manager Michelle Finocchi said. “The success of Artsy’s business activity supports our educational mission in a way that allows us to provide free access to all content on our site and avoid the need for membership fees or advertising.”

Krugman pointed out that social media likes and favorites can also give art collectors a sense of a piece’s popularity, which can help them determine the work’s potential value. It has also been used by galleries to determine which pieces to present in their exhibitions.

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The Auraverse app

Source: Auraverse

Then there’s the fact that these wealthy art collectors are exactly the type of investor these start-ups are looking for. The New York Times reported that Christie’s had its first billion dollar week in May. Although Noren d’Aura said the main motivation for the app is to combine the power of data with the art world, she said art buyers are the kind of investors they are looking for. .

“We’re interested in smart money and smart investors, and we believe these conversations with these people will be there in a virtuous way,” she said. “But we are focusing on the product, not trying to adapt it to the luxury market.”

Likewise, Artsy’s Finocchi said its investors come from all walks of life, but said “art fairs are fantastic opportunities to connect with gallery owners and collectors.”

The biggest problem these apps face may be with the arts community itself. It is divided on whether allowing pieces to be presented on digital platforms devalues ​​work. Krugman said he often argues with other artists over whether smartphones – and in turn, apps like Instagram – have actually benefited the artistic community.

He said it was a good thing when he saw the average person take more photos of their everyday life, because at least it made him realize the power of photography.

“When Instagram first appeared, people were now saying that everyone is a photographer, so no one is a photographer,” he said. “But that means people are more visually literate, and everyone can benefit from this world which was quite siled.”

Norma D. Ross