How tech brought the price of Picasso down to $300

Written by Anthony Sodd
Published on Jan. 26, 2017
How tech brought the price of Picasso down to $300

Imagine you could have every masterpiece by every artist on your wall. How cool would it be if, with the push of a button, you could conjure up a Van Gogh or a Monet and hang them above your fireplace?

These days, you can. Sort of.

"Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in New York or LA, or some other city where there is art everywhere. Or, maybe you can visit an art museum,” Jake Levine, CEO and founder at Electric Objects said. “We wanted to make a platform that let people experience art right in their home."

Electric Objects created the EO2, a matte finish 1080p HD digital canvas. Each EO2 comes in a wooden frame connected to an app that lets you control what is displayed. There is an ambient light sensor that will dim or brighten the display to match its environment and, of course, a wall mount. You can think of the device as a portal into a museum, or less whimsically, as a giant tablet designed to beam artwork into your home.

"The idea is to use technology to bring people art," Levine said. "The Kindle brings you books, the iPod brings you music, Electric Objects brings you art."

For $10 a month, users have access to Art Club, a curated art discovery subscription service. Art Club offers classic artwork from museums and collections that have been curated by Electric Objects. It's like paying for Netflix, only instead of getting access to 30 Rock reruns, you get access to an entire world of art masterpieces. 

Art Club's collections run the gamut from famous pieces by Van Gogh's and Manet, to animated GIFs and digital art.

This week, the company is releasing a collection of art by the painter Johannes Vermeer. The Dutch master's paintings are displayed in museums around the world and have never all been shown in the same place before. Digitally, they will be reunited and Art Club members will be able to study all 35 of his works from the comfort of their couches.

Levine started working on Electric Objects while he was an employee at betaworks. The startup studio is well known for supporting companies built by their employees and was Electric Object's first investor.

In 2014, the company raised over $787,000 on Kickstarter and launched their first product. Since then, they've secured a $5 million Series A round and just launched their second generation unit, the EO2.

Image via Electric Objects. 

Have a news tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.

Hiring Now
Integral Ad Science
AdTech • Big Data • Digital Media • Marketing Tech