As Spear’s has covered in detail before (see here for example), art has gone digital, whether it’s work that only exists on computers or pieces that you can buy from online galleries or auction houses. Joining the online gallery movement is Artuner from Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, scion of a notable family of collectors.
Artuner (www.artuner.com) is going for quality, not quantity, says Re Rebaudengo, with ‘curations’ – carefully-selected exhibitions – rather than a capacious embrace of work of every grade of goodness. Artuner’s first curation is prints by Luigi Ghirri, lonely Italian landscapes priced between £4,000 and £16,000 – a subtle name aimed at serious collectors. Here Re Rebaudengo answers Spear’s questions.
Q: Why have you set up Artuner?
Growing up in a family of collectors, I have had the privilege of being exposed to many contemporary artworks. This enabled me to forge strong relationships with curators, gallery owners and other collectors. The more I was exposed to this field, the more passionate I felt about the art world.
While completing my masters at LSE, I became increasingly interested in the contemporary art market. During this time, I developed an early prototype with a team of students in my program for a class on enterprise. The concept was well received and we won LSE Management award for having the best business plan.
Many friends and acquaintances asked me what they should be collecting. They had the interest and capital available to make informed acquisitions of contemporary art but did not know where to turn.
Artuner was formed as a response to their need and the needs of already established collectors. It has been created to be a curatorially-centred online platform dedicated to providing unparalleled access to a selection of unique artworks that are available exclusively on the site.
Pictured above: Eugenio Re Rebaudengo
Q: There are already lots of other sites where you can buy art online. What’s new about Artuner?
Artuner derives its name from the desire to spread a passion for collecting art: we want to help people be in tune with the art of collecting. Our added value comes from three main components:
1. The curatorial nature of the platform
Artuner collaborates with an evolving roster of eminent experts who carefully help assemble all of our exhibitions (or ‘curations’). We strive to offer our target audience an exclusive and carefully selected range of artworks, as opposed to overwhelming them with a complicated and massive selection.
Each artwork can be viewed online in high definition in various forms and can also be ‘view[ed] in a room’ where a collector can see what the artwork would look like to scale and also how it appears when presented alongside other artworks on a wall. For curators who are working with us, this system enables them to see what the artworks they select look like when shown together.
2. The educational approach of Artuner
Artuner has developed into a platform that is not only dedicated to offering expertly curated exhibitions at insider prices, but one that does so with an educational and academic contextualisation.
We have a section titled ‘Insights’ that is devoted to providing an approachable and informative perspective on various and pertinent topics related to contemporary art and the art that we have on display. This could be anything from techniques of hanging artworks, storage and maintenance, to art market insights and editorials on specific facets of artworks which we are currently showing.
These insights are written by team members and experts from the field and are published on a weekly basis. In addition to catering to established collectors, what Artuner hopes to achieve is to give aspiring collectors sufficient insight, relevant knowledge and a jargon-free approach in order to better understand the works that are on display and make educated decisions not only when it comes to collecting art from our site but in terms of art collecting in general.
3. Exclusivity and Selectivity
Finally, what also sets Artuner apart from its online competitors is that it offers a selection of museum quality contemporary artworks that are only available through the platform, in the same way that a traditional gallery would operate. These works are available exclusively on the site and only for a limited timeframe.
Q: Do you think coming from a family of collectors has given you a special insight into the art market?
Being surrounded by experts in the art world for many years now has given me great insight into the inner workings of the market for contemporary art. Growing up, I did not fully realise the exposure that I was getting. In retrospect, however, I now feel increasingly lucky to have had the experience of coming from an art collecting background because it gave me a solid foundation from which I was able to create Artuner.
Sometimes the art market can appear both opaque and intimidating and I am dedicated to providing a platform that makes it more approachable whether coming to it as an individual looking to make an educated acquisition or as a new collector devoted to a certain medium… and everything in between. In addition, my experience and involvement in the Fondazione has enabled me to make Artuner both educational and in tune with current art market trends.
Q: What are your favourite items on the site at the moment?
The items that Artuner offers are handpicked artworks. And all of the artworks that are displayed are pieces that I would collect or would like to be collecting. That’s why at the moment there are 28 works, instead of 2,800. I truly believe that each of Luigi Ghirri’s photographs which we’re offering reflects a unique beauty that our audience can relate to in their own personal ways. That’s the value of our current curation.
If I was absolutely forced to chose two of my favourite artworks out of the current curation, I would pick the serene snowscape that is Soragna, Dalla Statale Per Fidenza or the tranquil Stellata, Bonifica Parmigiana Moglia. Every photo has something to say and I’m drawn to each piece on our website for different reasons. I’m also very excited for our next curation which will be a selection of abstract paintings by emerging artists.
Q: Is the trend towards buying art via digital images good or bad for art?
It has now been a trend for some years from a collectors standpoint to purchase art from .jpegs or .pdfs. As the market grows and becomes increasingly more globalised, collecting art online is becoming more attractive and sought after. As technology offers greater tools for providing high quality imaging, buying art via digital images will transform from being a novel idea to an everyday experience.
Moreover, art can now conveniently be discovered and collected from digital imagery, but this for us is insufficient. We are not a platform that merely lists and displays artworks, we offer a 360 degree experience. I strongly believe that buying art via digital images is a positive trend because it provides access to artworks from around the world that could not otherwise be seen in person.
That said, the experience of going to a museum or gallery in the flesh is irreplaceable and I spend a great deal of my time doing so. Artuner is not a substitute for these types of formative experiences. it is rather a platform that can be used to show remarkable art to a wider audience while enabling discovery and exploration.
For more information, see www.artuner.com