Topic:

Art-Ups

Art-Ups

Many Have Died in the Battle to Move Fine Art Online. But Now Art-Ups Are Winning

Art.sy's iPhone app for the art fair in Basel, Switzerland.

The fine art industry–we’re talking about the Christie’s auctions and the multi-million dollar sharks here–has a long, proud tradition of stuffiness. Its collectors are often richer, older citizens who would rather hire an art adviser than browse for paintings on the internet, and many start-ups have met doom attempting to bring the market to the web. (“It’s like being in a movie,” as Art.sy’s Carter Cleveland put it. “The knight is walking into the dragon’s lair and seeing the corpses of all the other knights that came before.”)

But increasingly, art buying is coming online, writes Mike Miller at Betabeat affiliate The New York Observer, despite resistance from the art world. Last year, 28 percent of the art sold through Christie’s–a total of $114.4 million–was purchased online. Read More