ArtsNovember 1, 2012 at 5:37 am

Getting Art.sy on the Web

Art.sy makes finding your next fave artist a lot easier than cracking open an art history textbook.

“Untitled (Red, Orange)”

If you imagine the illegitimate child of Pandora, MoMA, the Sartorialist and the site Allposters.com, you’d have Art.sy, the internet’s newest artistic outpost.

The website brings together  more than 25,000 works of art into one fashionable interface. Users can browse without the restrictions of gallery space, and Art.sy even suggests other pieces based on a set of 800 art “genes” developed by its team. Works displayed on the site are often for sale, too, and the click of a button can connect users to a specialist ready with purchasing information.

Art.sy lends a helpful hand to those looking to explore art and opens a new marketplace for those selling their work. But it’s also a strange mix of commercial consumption and fine art, of the internet’s impersonality and a gallery’s intimacy. This raises serious concerns for the site’s true function and how the art world will handle digitization, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.

Even searching something like “hot dog” brings up a playful set of results. Mel Ramos’s 1965 “Doggie Dina” paints a pin–up type blonde lounging naked in a bun. Raul Ortega Alaya’s “Tomatina/Tim” juxtaposes photographs of a man eating a pile of hot dogs and a mess of human bodies crushing tomatoes. Mark Mulroney’s cartoonish 2010 “Steamed Weenies” also comes up.

Searching “necklace” yields a 1654 Rembrandt painting from the Louvre and massive, 50–some–feet high jewelry sculptures made in 2012 by Jean–Michel Othoniel.
“Religion” puts out over 1,600 results, from Botticelli’s 1482 “La Primavera” to Caravaggio’s 1600 “David Victorious Over Goliath” to Mark Rothko’s 1968 “Untitled (Red, Orange).”

Despite the limits of its database size and the questions it raises for the museum industry, Art.sy’s definitely got one thing going for it: the ability to bring such diverse bodies of work into direct conversation with one another.

 
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