art.sy

Screw The Gallery, Discover The Next Great Picasso At Art.sy

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I’ll admit that I know nothing about fine art. It actually somewhat interests me as an idea, but I’m never going to go to a gallery. Basically, everything I do is now online. But finding fine art online seems hard. A quick Google search brings up sites that look to be the exact opposite of fine art. Art.sy wants to change that.

The new social site, started by Carter Cleveland, is “the place to discover and share original fine art online.” Okay, it’s easy to say that. But Art.sy’s approach is to make it easy to discover this art through searching. Their custom search engine allows you to find art by period/style, the portion of their career that the artist is in, or the regular stuff like size, color, and, of course, price.

They’ll also recommend new art to you based on preferences from your social graph. And there’s a Facebook application to leverage the largest social graph. Plus they believe the Art.sy domain will be key for sharing art on Twitter. They also hint that an iPad app is coming.

Although art is best viewed in person, you can’t fall in love with it unless you’ve discovered it first,” they write on their site.

Obviously, this is a niche site, but fine art = money. And even if you’re not looking to buy, you can visit to learn more about artists or particular works of art. It’s culture online.

And once you’re ready to buy a piece of art, you can talk directly to the artist or gallery to negotiate a fair price. Or you can arrange a viewing if you’re not sure about the piece. And, of course, you can share your purchases on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

———-Q&A With The Judges—————-

Jason Calacanis, CEO & Founder, Mahalo
Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications Group, AOL
Tolman Geffs, Co-President, JEGI
Megumi Ikeda, SVP, Peacock Equity Fund
Shervin Pishevar, Founder & Chairman, SGN

Q: How does this not exist already? And do the art galleries want to give it to you?

A: The key to this is deals with art houses. The competitors is Art Net — which is a great resource if you know the artist you’re looking for.

Q: Are the auction houses part of your system?

A: No, just the galleries.

Q: Will regular people be able to put art on there?

A: Not at first, because we want to make it about fine art only.

Q: There should be a feedback system — Q&A system in here.

Q: Is there a consumer demand in this? Isn’t inefficiency in this?

A: We got our initial funding from people who were frustrated by this.

Q: I didn’t think it was too original. I remember nextmonet.com — this is well done, but exclusive access to art isn’t huge.

A: You have to be more like Steve Jobs during the presentation. You had one, but the tech fucked it up. You missed the “wow.”

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