The struggling artist epithet is as common as the fine art galleries sprinkled throughout New York City, drawing creative types from around the world into the city's culturally vibrant center. While the art and technology industries seem to occupy different universes, these worlds are finally colliding with the rise of e-commerce and disintermediated culture.
Today, as a result of technology, digital art collectors are more active and artists can connect with galleries or museums virtually. New technologies are streamlining how the art world operates, and a variety of startups are capitalizing on those opportunities to expand the industry’s stagnant analog business. We put together a list of the most innovative startups forging a path at the intersection of art and tech, all in the heart of New York City’s art scene.
Artsy is an an online resource for art collectors and galleries. The company works with the world’s leading art galleries, museums, foundations, private collections, art fairs, auctions and artists to provide a massive database of art, architecture and design. The database spans historical, modern and contemporary works, and helps users discover, learn about and collect art. Artsy also provides original editorial content on art events around the world, and offers insight into future and current exhibitions.
Paddle8 is an online auction house, bridging the gap between digital marketplaces and traditional auction houses. Paddle 8 has scaled art collecting to a global audience by helping collectors easily sell and buy works through the company’s iPhone app. The company’s inventory is typically priced between $1,000 and $100,000.
Artsicle taps into the “affordable art” market and is designed as a digital marketplace for fine art. The platform helps users discover their taste in art and rent original pieces to “test out” in their home, starting at $25 per month. Artsicle partners with some of New York’s top emerging artists, giving its digital audience greater access to up and coming artists via an online platform.
ArtBinder is a leading digital app and platform that enables galleries to showcase artwork remotely. Geared toward high-end galleries, ArtBinder connects galleries with clients by integrating sales, presentation and distribution into one digital platform. The company’s iPhone and iPad app synthesizes the details of trades on the go, as well as provides dealers with a tool for sharing inventory.
Arthena is shaking up the fine art market by allowing people to invest in a mutual fund for art. Straddling the intersection of art and fintech, Arthena is the world’s first equity crowdfunding platform that gives customers access to collecting and investing in art with industry experts. The company connects art world professionals with the next generation of art collectors—all within Arthena’s online platform. The startup is hoping to make the art world more accessible (especially to millennials) by creating opportunities for Arthena collectors to invest and engage with the art world using its services.