Chelsea's tech and art worlds are colliding, creating a new, digital art house

by Anthony Sodd
May 16, 2016

At their core, artists are inventors, adopting innovative avenues of expression to create the new and unusual. To this end artists have embraced technology, utilizing everything from wall climbing robots to 3D printing in their works.

However, art has largely remained an analog business until recent years. Now, a number of art tech startups have begun to disrupt the field, aiming to make the industry more accessible, collaborative and efficient.  

Artdex, a Chelsea-based startup aiming to become the world’s central digital repository for all things art, is one of these companies.

“Today, artists put their work on Facebook or Instagram, and it then it shows up in the same feed as a lot of things that are not art,” Jenny Park Adam, CEO and founder at Artdex said. “It’s not the right place to have your work taken seriously.”

Artdex is a digital platform where artists, collectors, dealers and curators can find each other and to share their work. Think of it kind of like LinkedIn meets Squarespace for the art world. It’s the sort of space that’s permeated the photography community in recent years, spawning companies like SmugMug, Shutterfly and Flickr to name a few. Artdex is bringing this type of collective sharing to the art world.

Using the site, an artist can start a profile, upload his/her work and store it like a shareable portfolio. Other artists, collectors or even the general public can then view the work or comment on it from anywhere. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, it won’t be sandwiched between a photo of dog and a BuzzFeed link.

The idea for the company started back in 2004, about the same time that Facebook was launching. Back in those days, Park Adam says, the culture of sharing art online just didn’t exist yet. Big investors she approached wanted a provable return on their investment, and the concept of creating a digital art repository didn’t seem like a big money maker. So, the idea languished for 12 years until ArtDEX finally launched this spring.

If you're an artist, or even just interested in art, the site is worth checking out — if only to see what a connected art world looks like. 
 

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