Most artists have a personal website or use something like Instagram, Facebook, etc. to get exposure for their work. I doubt many use Google analytics or have any idea about how many people actually see their work online. Unless one is an SEO specialist, most sites don’t get that much traffic nor is the traffic from other than the people who already know the artist or are given the link to the artist’s site.
While I have no firm statistics, I would imagine that in any given year possibly ¼ to ⅓ of any population of artists in an area would have a public showing of their work. Whether that was in a group situation or a solo show, it isn’t as if there isn’t a large volume of work that never gets seen. Also one might imagine that the vast majority of the work that is shown isn’t sold, at least not immediately. The idea behind this proposed project is to get people’s work seen by more people than would normally see it in the gallery situation.
The art buying public is usually thought to be just those above a certain income level or the exceptional aficionado who go to galleries as buyers. I think there many more people who would buy art but are put off by galleries or don’t have the time or don’t go to galleries for a myriad of other reasons. Of course there are new online sites for buying art, most of which are selling known quantities. There are of course sites such as saatchionline which is a marketplace for the work of unknowns but none of them seem to be ones where there is any real interaction with the art or the artist who can be anywhere. Plus the question always arises – How do you find what you like?
And how do you find what you like? Well, image recognition and machine learning have open APIs so that will be an ongoing part of the investment.
This proposed platform is meant to bridge this gap between artists who work in obscurity and those who would like to see their work and possibly buy a piece after a visit to the artist’s studio. It would operate in much the same way that AirBnB connects people who have rooms or apartments for rent to those looking for accommodations in whichever city or town they might choose around the world. Instead of pictures of people’s living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and views out the window, this platform would show photographs of the artist’s work. Instead of a description of the neighborhood in its place would be the artist’s statement. The functions would be much the same. There would be a calendar with the means for interested parties to book studio visits with artists. These they would pay for, the purpose of this platform. Ask any artist how much time it takes to have a studio visit and you get some idea of its value, a value which is usually overlooked or ignored.
There would be a similar sort of “reputational” comments section to build trust. There probably would be similar security points such as scans of identity documents, etc. (Our modern world) The details here are something for discussion and of course, lawyers.
The method for the platform to make money would be to charge a percentage of the price of the visit and also to provide a credit card platform in case there was one needed for any purchase which comes from the visit. This would allow the platform to host “reputational” data on sales for that layer of trust.
And of course, there is the data. What that gets used for is an ethical and moral dilemma.