When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in the 16th century, few people around the world had the opportunity to admire it, or even knew it existed. Now, with the digitization of the art world, there exists an endless number of ways to create, experience and interact with art.
From sketching and design software to online art auctions, dozens of artsy apps are now at our fingertips. And with the ever-booming global art market valued at $70 billion, a myriad of startups are looking to capitalize on that success.
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Even giant search engine Google has come up with its own art app. Called Arts & Culture, this mobile app lets you discover the stories behind artworks hung at over 1,000 museums around the world, and search the huge database by color, time period and other keywords.
But some of the most innovative apps and online platforms that are at the forefront of digitizing the art world were developed in Israel. NoCamels highlights five of them.
Artbit: The Shazam of artwork
Most of us know Shazam, the app that identifies the titles of songs simply by “listening” to them. Israeli app Artbit does the same for works of art. Just point to a painting hung in a museum or drawn on a wall, snap a picture of it using your smartphone, and voila: the app tells you everything about that piece, from the artist who painted it to their life’s work.
With its innovative image-recognition technology, Artbit bridges the gap between the physical and digital art world. It allows you to instantly recognize artwork using your smartphone, discover facts and stories behind a million works of art by 80,000 artists, find nearby art venues and exhibitions, and more.
It also enables galleries and artists to launch professional platforms for their businesses designed for art enthusiasts, and promote their art portfolio to a broad market of art enthusiasts – Artbit’s thousands of app users.
Founded by Aric and Yoram Ben Zvi in 2015, the company has raised $700,000 and is now in the midst of raising additional funds from investors, according to media reports.
ArtSetters: Create and share digital showrooms
Israeli online platform ArtSetters allows artists to be discovered on a global scale, without needing to attend trade shows. The startup allows you to create shareable showroom collections, connect with industry leaders and manage orders seamlessly.
This super-trendy “community of leading young creatives,” where artists from all walks of life can share and sell their works with the world, was founded in 2013 by Alexandra Schinasi and Lee Rotenberg.
The startup has so far raised $1 million from Israeli venture capital firm Pitango.
Niio: Displaying and monetizing digital art
The world of art is increasingly becoming digital, from video art to interactive art. According to Israeli startup Niio, “this medium’s evolution and growth should be accompanied by the right standards, legal and copyright attribution and professional tools that allow artists and content owners to define terms for experiencing their work and methods for monetization.”
Niio‘s platform supports digital artists, allowing them to connect and collaborate with galleries, collectors, curators, organizations and art fans. It provides a set of professional tools for managing, distributing, monetizing and displaying multi-format artistic content.
The startup’s tools include a high-resolution art player, which can turn any screen or projector into a continuous art installation.
Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, the company was founded by Rob Anders and Oren Moshe in 2014. It has since raised $1.2 million, according to reports in the media.
Dreame: Painting your dreams
Dreame is an online platform for commissioning personalized artwork inspired by you and designed by artists around the world. It is a new way to capture a memory, thought or fantasy and make it tangible. “Frame, wear or hold anything you can dream up,” the Israeli company states.
Founded in 2014 by Sharona Karni-Cohen, this budding startup has sold some 1,500 pieces of art last year, for prices ranging from $10 to $300.
Taking roughly 14 days to create and deliver, the artist you choose on Dreame creates either a jpeg photo or an A3 print based on what you tell them: a childhood memory, a wild dream, or fantastic scenery. You can even order it as a gift.
ArtRunners: Fine art logistics managed online
ArtRunners is an online platform for contracting, monitoring and management of fine art logistics services. The Israeli startup has built a network of fine art logistics specialists offering services such as packing, transport and storage of fine art, which naturally needs to be handled with caution.
Founded in 2015 by art collector Serge Tiroche and entrepreneur Daniel Lev-er, ArtRunners relies on technological innovation, streamlined processing, resource optimization and a large community of users.
So, if you ever ship a $60 million Renoir piece over the ocean, make sure to put it in trusted hands!