Danish startup Artland is building a social marketplace for the art world and its key players: Galleries and professional collectors, while also hoping an app-based approach helps onboard a new generation of art buyers.
The team’s overarching mission is to make art buying more accessible and thus widen the sales tube. The core problem being that galleries aren’t typically short of artworks to hang on their walls. What they truly need is more buyers’ eyes in front of exhibited works.
On a more abstract level, galleries do likely also need to up their marketings game to compete in an era of selfie culture and trivial digital generation providing plenty of low cost, taste-customized printable fodder for consumers to fill up their walls.( Not that you’d call it art, but, well, wall space is finite .)
“The art market is a complex and governed market entailing there’s a lot of players in there, and it’s difficult to understand what it’s all about, ” says co-founder Mattis Curth, who along with his brother and co-founder Jeppe only stepped foot in a gallery for the first time in early 2016. That experience resulted them to the idea for Artland as they felt the art marketplace lacked transparency and could be more welcoming to newcomers.
“The vision of Artland is to make art more accessible to a broader audience. And lower the barrier to enter the market, ” he adds. “What we do is to build on the principles of social media. Because that is how we can target the new generation of art buyers.
“Right now we stance ourselves as the only social art marketplace … That means we are the place for collectors to connect with one another and the first place for collectors to share their collectings online.”
There are some pretty sizable players in the online art market space these days. New York based Artsy, founded back in 2009, pulled in a $50 M fund round this summer, for example, for an auction-focused art marketplace that’s valued at $275 M.
Plenty of other art e-tail industries are also well established selling artworks online — such as the curated, contemporary selection offered by a site like Rise Art.
There are even some more recent no-barrier-to-entry startup approaches, like’ Tinder for art’ startup Wydr — which lets anyone upload artworks for sale, and immediately connects those artist/ artwork proprietors with potential buyers who get to swipe through photos of the works in its app( effectively playing the gallery role itself, just without any curation ).
Artland’s positioning is definitely not another’ Tinder for art’. All the artworks for sale on its platform are by artists who have gained gallery representation already so are likely more established( and thus likely also of more interest to professional art buyers/ collectors ).
Though users of the app can view a wider selection of artworks via the app too , not just those available to buy, as collectors can publicly share uploaded images of the works they own with the community.
Curth says the difference in positioning between Artland and Artsy is a focus on collectors — with Artland offering free tools for art collectors to register and manage their collections.