The Art Genome Project

Department Art/Courtesy

Books by the Kindle, movies by Netflix, music by Spotify: for better or worse, the technology revolution has changed how we consume our objects of culture. Only purchasing artwork remains virtually free of battery life, keyboards, and the World Wide Web. An upcoming project, Art.sy, intends to transform a historically changeless industry, and this time, it’s certainly for the better.The website, self-described as a “search engine for art” has composed an art genome that categorizes artworks based on over 700 “genes,” that run the gamut of color, medium, subject matter, art movement, and price.

So say you love Picasso but can’t shell out $10 million or maybe can’t gain entrance to high-brow art galleries or auctions. (Many only take appointments with the most eligible buyers.) On Art.sy, inputting a painting or artist’s name and price range initiates a search for works that share Picasso’s works’ “genes.” Thumbnails of other artworks that most closely resemble the “DNA” arrange themselves on the screen. The intersection of these traits forms a map of works that represents your artistic preferences.

Now, you have discovered new favorite artists, likely emerging and unfamiliar, who are producing works that you very possibly may purchase. An industry controlled by art buffs in hyper exclusive circles will open up to a new generation of collectors, artists, and art appreciators.

Art.sy’s ultimate success, however, will depend on support from both the technology industry and the art world. So far, many seem to be on board. Prominent gallery owners, collectors, and museum curators are investors and advisors. As are technology’s frontrunners like the creator of Twitter and CEO of Pandora Radio (which the site closely resembles.) The site’s leaders themselves are indicative of the art-tech alliance: a computer science engineer and a former exec at Christie’s, a fine art auction house.

Not only will Art.sy move fine art sales to the web (the percent of art purchases made online is currently minute), but will broaden the art world to a much larger, likely younger, edgier, and more tech-savvy population.

To be the first to access this innovative technology, request an invitation here: https://artsy.net/.