Daylight, an immersive iPad app dedicated to art photography, has been a decade in the making. The company’s founder Taj Forer and Michael Itkoff first built a bi-annual magazine about 10 years ago dedicated to documentary photography.
“It was meant to bridge the gap between the more conceptual concerns of fine art and artists, and then the more sociopolitical concerns of documentary photographers,” he said. “In between those, we saw a growing niche for a kind of art photography that never had a platform before.”
Daylight grew into a respectable brand within the art world and attracted photographers who had been published in The New York Times, Vice and Wired among other places. But it became clear that tablets held the potential to be the next destination for consumers to experience art.
So Forer is shifting into digital with the release of Daylight’s first iOS edition today. “We live and we breathe tech,” Forer said. “We recognized a massive opportunity to connect mainstream audiences with high art content.”
Each “edition” of the app is a deep dive into a single artist’s body of work and there are two editions per month.
The debut edition surveys the work of Alec Soth, a photographer known for his work in the American Midwest. The photographs in each Daylight edition are paired with essays written by and interviews with the artists.
Forer said that many other startups that intersect with the art world are focused too much on e-commerce. Rather than trying to push purchases of art onto users, Daylight is about having people experience and understand art inside an app the way they might be immersed in a gallery exhibition.
“From our perspective, other art startups are antiquated in their approach. They’re ultimately trying to facilitate the purchase of an extremely physical art object,” Forer said. “We occupy a digital environment and want our users to engage with art in this new environment and live with it in this same way that physical art collectors live with their pieces. An art collection is a projection of one’s taste and personality within a physical space.”