Today for the first time, Artsy and Sotheby’s are teaming up for an online auction featuring artworks spanning from sculpture and photography to painting and video for a collection titled Input/Output. You can bid on art by Cai Guo-Qiang, Parker Ito, Richard Prince, and more from your phone.
This signals a change from the art oligarchy: we see traditional auction houses pairing up with social media platforms like Phillips and Tumblr in 2013 or even Sotheby's and their collaboration with eBay earlier this year. Rather than simply providing a distribution platform for Sotheby’s existing live auctions, Artsy is acting as a partner through the process, from consignment to collector outreach and the execution of the sale. Artsy is also providing Sotheby’s collecting insight data for the auction.
Artsy’s database contains 300,000 artworks from leading galleries, museums, and art fairs by over 45,000 artists. Through features like “artist follows” on the Artsy site, the platform can amply offer authoritative art savviness for what is popular, trending, and consistently liked.
Artsy spokesperson Graham Newhall says, "Artsy has an internal demand calculator that we use to anticipate collector interest and compile lists of popular artists. It pulls data from across Artsy—including total collector inquiries, auction bids, and user follows for an artist—as well as Google search traffic. The auction lots are, at least in part, an expression of how collectors are already using Artsy and a reflection of their interest in particular artists and artworks."
With data-driven goals, Artsy positions itself as a tech company with an artist's gaze.
To learn more about Artsy or to participate in the auction, click here.