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  • Writer's picturerahul sriskanthan


Updated: Sep 24, 2020

The Premiere Online Marketplace for Art

Artsy is the online platform for discovering, buying and selling fine art. It includes most of the top-tier galleries and its investors include the Larry Gasgosian. Galleries typically have to pay to be listed on Artsy - so it also a marketing platform for art galleries.

The company aims to use algorithms to help value art and also help people choose art.

"The Art Genome Project is the classification system and technological framework that powers Artsy. It maps the characteristics (we call them “genes”) that connect artists, artworks, architecture, and design objects across history. There are currently over 1,000 characteristics in The Art Genome Project, including art historical movements, subject matter, and formal qualities."

Artsy has a database of 1,000,000 works of art, architecture, and design by 100,000 artists, spanning historical, modern, and contemporary works, and including the largest online database of contemporary art.

Listings & Commentary

There is also a editorial section of the site and section with art fair and gallery show listings, but, this is not the core strength of the website. Try browsing art by genre or artist if you are looking for inspiration.

[2] Artsy's search engine and database draw connections and map relationships among works of art.[2] Founded by Carter Cleveland, computer science graduate from Princeton,[3] and is led by Mike Steib, former CEO of XO Group, the parent company of The Knot.[4] Artsy aims to "expand the art market to support more artists and art in the world."[5]

Carter Cleveland, the son of an art historian,[9] founded Artsy during his senior year at Princeton University and worked on the site from his dorm room.[10] Cleveland's goal for Artsy is for the site "to be the place where every single user in the world goes to discover art online."[11]  In May 2010, Artsy participated in the New York City conference, TechCrunch Disrupt, where they competed in the Startup Battlefield and received the Yahoo! Rookie Award![12]  A year later, the team demoed Artsy at the Beyeler Foundation at Art Basel (June 15, 2011).[13][14]

In 2019, it was reported that in 2018 the data for 1,070,000 accounts were stolen from Artsy.[15] The information included the name, email address, location, IP address and password SHA-512 hashed with a salt. The passwords were not stored in cleartext, but an email from Artsy encouraged users to change their passwords.[16]

Artsy is powered by The Art Genome Project — "an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art."[24]  A collaboration between art historians and engineers, The Art Genome Project draws upon art-historical scholarship and artificial intelligence to assign values to artwork based on over 1211 characteristics or "genes."[25][26]  These categories range from color and period to "Technique: Documentary Photography" and "Group Portrait."[25][26]  The Art Genome Project aims to help users uncover works of art based on personal taste and preference to facilitate discovery of art.[24][25][26] As of 2020 the AGP was on hold for restructuring.

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