In this episode State of the Art explores the future of online art sales with Artfinder, one of Vango Studio’s partners. As one of the top sites to find art online, Artfinder’s mission is simple: to allow artists to make a living from their art, and to allow art lovers to enjoy works in their home according to their budget. CEO Jonas Almgren has been at the helm of Artfinder since 2012. He has helped pivot Artfinder to an online platform for artists and collectors with over 850,000 users in over 100 countries.
Ethan sits down with Artfinder CEO Jonas Almgren to discuss what he sees for the future of online art sales, how artificial intelligence could be your art advisor, and how Artfinder is more of a dating site than an Ebay-style marketplace.
Top 5 Takeaways:
1.) Bridging the gap between the artist and the art lover.
“Lots of people I spoke with that loved art ended up going to museums and then at home they didn’t have much art at all and sometimes only a poster saying they had been to the museum but no original art. And I felt if we can just connect these artists with art lovers, you would have a brilliant marketplace.”
2.) Artificial Intelligence could be your new art advisor.
“You just need to tweet your image to this bot and the bot will reply with the several artworks taken from the art on ArtFinder, so you could for instance be in a museum and see something you like but obviously you can’t buy it because it’s in a museum, but you can now just tweet to Emma (the twitter bot) and she will reply and suggest some similar artworks that we have at ArtFinder.”
3.) Artfinder is not interested in being an arbiter of what art you should like, but rather a way for you to find out what art you like.
“I think we are the beginning of what can be done in terms of personalizing the site making it feel like it’s the right site for you, because everyone’s taste is so different that if you try to build one site that recommends art you become like a gallery you’re very authoritative, you say this is stuff you should buy. And we don’t want to be that we don’t want to become the site that tells you what you should buy, we tried want to be the site that accommodates whatever taste you have to allow you to find art that you loved, and then over time of course you’ll see a lot of art and maybe your art tastes change.”
4.) Playlists for artworks.
“When you like something on a site it’s added to your favorites and it’s very similar to how you would operate maybe with Spotify, so we know what you like and you have a collection of what you like. The problem is of course that even if you like something you might not have the money to buy it or it might not fit for your home. So, liking art and buying art is not quite the same thing but we can certainly use that and leverage that throughout the product to really create that personal experience.”
5.) Finding a balance between art and tech.
“There always has to be a balance… if the technology is sexier than the art then you have a problem.”