There’s a new way to find art in town, and that’s Artmonious, a mobile art app that launched in a very meta way last week – with a live Venice pop-up displaying some of the art available through the company’s technology. The Abbot Kinney event drew a crowd to see works by LA-based artists such as Alex Gross, Timothy White, and Jean-Christophe Dick.
With an ambition to create the worlds biggest social media art network, this mobile app has an algorithm for art taste, as Pandora does for music. One piece is shown to a collector at a time, with the collector having the option swipe left if they don’t find it appealing and right if they do. The more a user swipes right, the more the system will learn the collector’s taste in art.
Artmonious co-creator Casey Fannin discusses how the app came about. “My fiancee Alex and I saw there was something missing from the online art world. A few things stood out to us. First, there wasn’t any mobile art app that everyone was using. Second, we felt every online art gallery website looked the same. There was a lack of personalization when you looked to find art. And also the experience felt overwhelming because of how many choices you are presented with.”
Seeking to create a different experience for people, one that was simpler and more personalized, they focused on a mobile experience because they felt that was the direction the art world is heading.
“So we thought of swiping left or right to one artwork at a time as an easy way for someone to discover art, but also if we build an algorithm that could learn peoples taste as they swiped, that would personalize it more because we would know what artworks we should present as each person continued to use the app.”
Fannin is excited by the idea of giving artists a new and innovative outlet to reach the right collectors for their work.
“Our technology and the data our app can learn through swiping is very exciting and will be extremely useful. We want our app to not only be a marketplace to buy art, but a fun app you can use to discover new artists and artwork,” she attests.
Fannin has a degree in printmaking and graphic design, and after school she was hired Park West Gallery, one of the largest auction houses in the world. “I lived aboard cruise ships for 2 years conducting live art auctions. I really learned a lot about the sales side in the art world working for this company,” she reports. After she left the high seas, she packed up and moved west, and is currently gallery director at the Morrison Hotel Gallery which specializes in music photography.
Fannin’s partner and fiancee, Alex Kaplan, moved from New York to Los Angeles to write screenplays, but was drawn into the tech world, becoming a senior account executive for two technology startups, Main Street Hub and ZipRecruiter.
“After watching ZipRecruiter grow from startup to receive a $63 million dollar investment, Alex was inspired to start his own company,” Fannin says.
Asked what artists she finds most inspiring, Fannin demurs from picking favorites.
“I particularly like discovering emerging artists. There are so many incredible artists in each city, especially right here in Los Angeles! Most people looking to buy art have no idea that they can find an original piece of art by an artist right in their city that is extremely affordable,” she relates. “And even better, they can find something unique that speaks to them that isn’t the same print your neighbor bought from Ikea.”
Take a look at how Artmonious works right here.
– Genie Davis; photos: provided by Artmonious