ArtSnap Is an Online Art Marketplace Run Entirely by Millennial Women. Here Are the Artworks They’re Most Excited About
The young online marketplace aims to do away with the smoke and mirrors of the art buying experience.
The online art marketplace ArtSnap is a business model that combines two seemingly counterintuitive ideas: the close-knit feel of a gallery-client relationship and the up-and-at-’em attitude of a tech start-up. Then there’s one more key characteristic of the UK-based company: It’s led by four millennial women.
“Everyone on the team grew up as the internet grew up,” said Charlotte Bearn, ArtSnap’s managing director, who took over during the company’s revamp in March. “We collectively have extremely high expectations of what a good online customer experience should be, regardless of sector, as well as first-hand experience of the potential for new technologies to transform how things are done—from where you stay when you go on holiday, to how you communicate with your friends, to—one day—how you discover and buy art.”
Focusing on multiples and prints by blue-chip artists, ArtSnap aims to make the art-buying experience a much more transparent interaction. “We couldn’t understand why buying and selling art was such a lengthy process with so many hidden costs and unwritten rules,” said Bearn, “Many people don’t realize that you can own a work by an artist you’ve seen in the likes of the Tate Modern or MoMA without spending tens or hundreds of thousands. The community we’re building gives our buyers access to rare works and low prices, and our sellers have a new way to sell art.”
And who are their clients exactly? “We’ve found that our price point, curation, and service do appeal to younger collectors, generally” said Bearn. “I think part of that’s because we’re very motivated to help someone who doesn’t usually buy art to make a purchase and enjoy it in their home. We’re actively looking at how we can introduce more people to art collecting.”
Below, ArtSnap’s four leading women share their favorite works currently being offered.
Julian Opie, Woman Taking Off Man’s Shirt (2003).
“This piece is always popular with buyers, and for good reason: It’s bold, bright, so recognizably Opie, and a great size for your walls at home. Interestingly, every time we have tried to advertise it on Instagram it gets banned because it is too nude! This work epitomizes what we’re trying to do at ArtSnap: make it easy to find and buy art by the world’s greatest artists, wherever you are in the world.”
—Charlotte Bearn, managing director
Yue Minjun, Pine Tree (2008)
“To me, Minjun’s works always trot the fine line between lighthearted irony and quite macabre undertones. Yue takes a traditionally Western medium of self-portrait and infuses it with what has been described as existential anxiety of the contemporary Chinese experience. These works can be taken as seriously as one wishes—personally, I imagine staring at it for hours on end!”
— Nat Rubinstein, head of sales and advisory
Donald Sultan, Yellow Mimosa, July 23, 2015 (2015)
“I’m drawn to the vibrancy of this silkscreen. The colors remind me of warm summer evenings, and you can almost smell the mimosa scent when you look at this. I love to bring the outdoors inside, but have a poor track record with living plants, so this Donald Sultan print is a safer choice for me. I’m interested in how the online space can democratize the usually opaque process of finding and buying art. I joined ArtSnap as head of marketing to inspire, educate, and introduce both first-time buyers and established collectors to beautiful works of art on a daily basis.”
— Jenny Shepherd, head of marketing
Takashi Murakami, Homage to Francis Bacon (Study for Head of Isabel Rawsthorne and George Dyer) (2016)
“I am captivated by Takashi Murakami’s portraits because the artist reinvigorates the traditional genre with audacity. Murakami has produced a beautiful but disturbing interpretation of Francis Bacon’s work by adding bold and haunting details like the direct gaze of alien-like figures and the jarring psychedelic colors. This piece is definitely eye-catching (and would complement my color scheme at home with perfection!). At ArtSnap I look after client services: I support ArtSnap clients on their inquiries and artwork purchases from start to finish. I enjoy sourcing exciting pieces that our clients are after, as well as researching new stock.”
—Alix d’Agay, sales and advisory
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