Art.sy: The Pandora of Art
Although it is still in beta mode, Art.sy has over 50,000 users and is rapidly growing. Powered by The Arts Genome Project, an open source project to map the arts in real time, Art.sy is being considered the “Pandora of art.” They aim to expose as many people as possible to the arts by making art freely accessible on the Internet. The free platform allows users to search, discover, and purchase art online.
The Art Genome Project is an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art. Art.sy works with collections from 400+ of the world’s leading galleries, museums, private collections, foundations and artist estates to create an online art gallery. The collection has expanded to feature over 25,000 works of art and is growing every day.
The Art.sy team distinguishes and categorizes art based on 800+ discovered characteristics, which they call genes. Users can then discover new works in the system through connections between art movements, subject matter and formal qualities. When viewing a piece of artwork on the site, “related works” are displayed on the bottom of the page, along with the categories users may select to display other works of art that they might enjoy. Once you create a log-in, the system will automatically select works of art based on your views, similar to how Pandora plays music based on the previous song or artist played. Logged in users can also choose to follow artists or galleries, receiving an update when a new work of art is posted.
Some of the works are also for sale, giving users the option to connect with an Art.sy specialist by clicking “Inquire about this art.” The specialist follows up with you, confirming your request and pricing before putting you in touch with the artist or gallery to purchase from. You can also choose to purchase without consulting a specialist by clicking on “Acquire.”
While it is still in its beta phase and requires an invitation to join (you can request one through their site,) Art.sy is rapidly growing in popularity for online artwork. By creating a universal library and database of characteristics, Art.sy hopes to “foster generations of art lovers, scholars, collectors and patrons.”
Photo: Eric Ogden for Wired