Art, Politics & Society

Name a More Iconic Duo : Art and Digital Platforms

Implications and changes
With the advent of platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, mainstream art has appeared on thousands of smartphones, tablets, and has become more available to the public. Beyond sets of downloadable wallpapers, entrepreneurs have launched real platforms to bring to the forefront of artists with advanced techniques, who were unknown to the general public.

Instagram: Art for everyone?

Aureta and Watts met in Los Angeles a few years ago. Aesthetes, art collectors, they do everything from design, to fashion, to painting. They now have four accounts: @aureta, @ love.watts, @ watts.on, @ green.couch to share views of the Valley, paintings by David Hockney, chairs by Naota Fukasawa, houses such as Pierre's Cardin.

 As eclectic as they are harmonious, their accounts have become essential for any art lover.They are now respected in the upper echelons of the art business, a field which is difficult to penetrate, and even participate in exhibitions such as Frieze as consultants. 

What started out as a simple “online moodboard”, however, became a means to generate income, through advertising, artistic direction, collaborations with artists who transcend usual borders. Indeed, a post on their Instagram account is worth as many views as a work on display, and attracts more people with the facility, and practicality they convey to obtain information about an artist in two clicks. Operating while being aware of the layout, colors, geometry of their accounts, They also advise artists on how to market their art, exhibit their Instagram as an art gallery, while keeping it professional. With more and more accounts like @aureta, it has become impossible to ignore that digital has transformed our view of art, and accessibility to photographic content among others.

Digitalization of art

With the digitization of art, many transformations of classical structures have been observed. First, a host of online galleries have been launched (including Artgence ), and have experienced a boom in recent months in lockdown and social distancing. In addition to this, these galleries remain accessible to all and free, which has encouraged museums to do the same, like the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico, or more recently the Voma. 

Beyond that, digital has brought about the alliance of entrepreneurship and art. Startups such as ArtSper are focused on selling art online through a network of galleries. This site, available throughout Europe, allows its users to select the type of work sought by type (street art, modern, etc.), material, or even price. Likewise, the startup Bright offers similar services with a platform for hosting, distributing and monetizing digital works. Large auction houses such as Christies have made part of their work available to the market online, which shows us that the most classic galleries have noticed the popularity of digitalization, and the promise of selling more works, to a larger market and by attracting a range of different buyers.

Beyond the art market, artists are turning to digital to change the way they express themselves. Many artists therefore use software, algorithms, virtual reality and sensory sensors to offer a different type of experience to the buyer, or art lover. David Hockney, a leading landscape painter, even devoted much of his last exhibition in Amsterdam to his paintings made on the iPad, which are however just as detailed and pictorial as his usual works.

© David Hockney. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

The Future of Art

The digitalization of art poses several implications for the future. What about the value of material art if it has become so accessible, or affordable? Are we therefore witnessing a redefinition of the concept of art, with a more global, less elitist vision of what makes the beauty of a work? It seems that the artistic landscape is changing, through its promotion on social media and the use of less traditional mediums. However, this change is happening at a slower pace than one might imagine, and the art business is still governed by the agenda of ArtBasels, MiamiBasels, or Sotheby's auctions.

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