State of the Art sat down with Vlad Vukicevic of Meural. For those of us who aren’t familiar with Meural yet, it has been described as the “Netflix of art.” A beautiful digital canvas that allows users to access tens of thousands of works of art created by diverse sources including emerging local artists, old masters, and your own uploaded images. Previously the co-founder of RocketHub Inc and a Management consultant at PA consulting group, Vlad co-founded Meural in 2014.
In this week’s episode, Ethan and Vlad discuss the differences between innovation in music and art, how Meural may be the ‘gateway drug’ to buying art, and their take on the future of galleries and the traditional art world.
Top 5 Takeaways:
1.) The power of the people. Vlad started Meural with a crowdfunding campaign and a drive to democratize art.
“Musicians, filmmakers, writers- they all had their big democratization moments in the digital realm whereas visual artists were still kind of trapped in this mix of old school museums, galleries, and auction houses or low-end or .com or where posters are kind of low-end reproduction. So, there was no democratization around the middle of the market for normal people to find and discover art”
2.) For those who might hesitate before committing to owning a piece of art, Meural is a solution that enables you to experience new works of art in your own home at any given moment. Just like music, art can be enjoyed at any time, in any space.
“I get the same emotion when I read a book or when I listen to a tune or when I look at a beautiful visual piece of art, why can’t I have the same level of dynamic interaction and daily kind of experience around that.”
3.) Meural was developed by working with artists. Although Vlad comes from a tech background, the artist feedback was a key part of developing the product.
“And a year after the prototyping period we were getting artists coming in and saying wow this looks stunning I want to be a part of this. And we knew we were on to something at that point when even the artist community was saying like wow this is absolutely not what I expected, it looks like a piece of paper it looks like a printed beautiful image.”
4.) “A Gateway to a New World”: Meural allows you to transcend space and time (or at least artistically.)
“We do have collectors that have Meurals in their homes as an add on to their collection but the sweet part is really someone late 20’s through early 40’s who has some experience, some awareness of culture but really wants to begin diving deeper and have a window into different worlds. Both geographically and temporally, you can go back in time with Meural, we were recreating shows from the past through our collections, so we just did the 1913 Armory Show. So, what does that mean? it means that you can actually travel to different periods through the Meural platform or graphically you can look at artists in Japan and in Europe in Africa in India in Latin America. So, it’s really like I said a gateway into a new world.”
5.) Bridging the gap between the online and the off-line worlds, and building another floor on “the building that is art.” Using a product like Meural adds to ways we can experience art, and may encourage users to eventually purchase art from other avenues.
“I viewed it as another floor on the building that is art. Like we started like the foundation is I guess human nature and then after that we got the caves and then we got parchment and then we got canvas and then we got oil and now we have photography in digital imagery, I think what we’re doing is just another floor, so we’re just adding to a world that’s there but it makes it a little bit more interesting about the building it makes it more fun and it makes going to the other floors more compelling. So, I think that it’s just an addition to the art world, is an addition to the way that we view and experience art, and because of that it will allow for more people to go downstream to go to a gallery show or to go to a museum retrospective or to buy an original piece.”
Check out Vlad Vukicevic and Meural now on our new podcast series State of the Art. Don’t forget to subscribe and review! And take a look at our Instagram to see what’s next on State of the Art.