Adopter stories: «Art is far too important to be accessed just by the few»

ArtBrowser is a hybrid between a social network and an art e-commerce platform making art market accessible for everyone.

If you love art and interested in the art market, but still don’t know how to get on to it and overcome psychological and financial barriers for art selling and buying, the project ArtBrowser is ready to help you. ArtBrowser is positioned by its creators as a «social discovery platform for art lovers», a hybrid between a social network and an art e-commerce platform whose manifesto states: «Without art we die». Artists, buyers, museums, galleries – everyone can be involved and follow the latest exhibitions, hot topics, talented artists and inspiring pieces from collectors.

.ART interviewed the Co-Founder and CEO of the ArtBrowser Rohit Shetty who explained how to make art market less intimidating and elitist and more accessible for the masses.

Tell us a little about your project. What is it all about?
The art world is often perceived as inaccessible for the general public and the emerging artist alike. ArtBrowser breaks down this barrier by creating a 0% commission based social platform to make art ‘open to all’. In essence, ArtBrowser is a hybrid between a social network and an art e-commerce platform. Our main target audience is art lovers who want to learn more about art and collect art but don’t know where to start.  We also attract art professionals who use ArtBrowser to browse, discover, buy, sell and connect with artists, galleries and other art lovers.

How and when did you decide to create ArtBrowser? Were you connected to the art community before starting this project?
A few years ago I was trying to help a friend from India promote her artworks in the UK. As a total outsider to the world of art I started to realise it can be quite intimidating for art lovers who might not have experienced a lot of art growing up. I wanted to find a way to support artists and help art lovers to connect with the world of art in a more comfortable and non-intimidating manner and create an ecosystem that encourages real conversation between them.

Who are your clients?
We mainly cater to artists, galleries and art lovers. They can create a profile for free, browse, discover, connect, buy and sell artworks. We also work with selected brands who want to join us in our mission to make art open to all and support our network of artists, galleries and art lovers.

Do you use AI, big data, Blockchain or some other cuttingedge tools for ArtBrowser?
Yes, we use AI and machine learning to understand more about each art lover based on their upvotes and downvotes and make predictions and suggestions based on their individual tastes and preferences. I guess it’s quite similar to how an art dealer would make suggestions once they have understood what the client is looking for by showing them some artwork and getting their feedback.

What are you plans for the future? How do you want to develop your business?
We want ArtBrowser to be the most trusted and influential brand for art lovers looking to learn about art and discover incredible artists and galleries from all over the world. Sir John Hegarty, who is one of our board advisors rightly says, “Art is far too important to be accessed just by the few, it should be for the many”. That is what we want to work toward, and we are open to collaborating with all the likeminded partners and clients who share our vision.

What is art for you?
I guess this is very subjective but for me art is that which has the power to make me think or feel something deep within.

What is your opinion about the modern art market and its development? 
I think it is a vibrant market full of culture, excitement and opportunity but very intimidating, elitist and inaccessible to the masses. I feel it lacks regulations to avoid fraud and there is not enough support for nurturing emerging artists and collectors.

The Blitz:
Person with the greatest influence in your life: Mum
An object you cant live without: Smartphone
A character trait you value most highly: Selflessness
Favorite book: “Shoedog” by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike
If you werent you, who would you like to be? Richard Branson
You have a minute face to face with Salvador Dali. What would you say/do? I would ask about his thoughts and process when creating art.
When I say art, what if your first thought? Browser!
Whats your idea of happiness? Living in the moment and enjoying the journey.

Also published on Medium.

Maria Efimova
Maria Efimova
is an orientalist who speaks Arabic and Hebrew. She spent a decade working with global media, shook hands with Benjamin Netanyahu and other political leaders. She is now taking a break from it all researching arts and philosophy.